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Brnovich demands Allister Adel explain why charges weren't filed

In a letter written Thursday, Attorney General Mark Brnovich requested County Attorney Allister Adel to submit a report by the end of March.

PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is asking Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel to explain why her office failed to file criminal charges in at least 180 cases. 

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said this week about 180 misdemeanor cases will not be prosecuted because the office did not file charges before the statute of limitations expired on the cases.

In a letter written Thursday, Brnovich requested that Adel submit a report to his office by the end of March that lists out specifically which cases were not filed, why they weren't filed, and what steps Adel is taking to prevent the error from happening again. 

"I am concerned that justice will not be secured for crime victims," Brnovich wrote. "Additionally, the failure to pursue these charges has nullified the hard work of law enforcement agencies and the peace officers working these cases."

Arizona law permits the attorney general to exercise "supervisory powers" over county attorneys and require them to submit reports relating to the public business of their offices.  

Adel's office put out a statement this week apologizing for the recent debacle.

On Friday, Adel's office issued a statement in response to Brnovich's letter saying her office was in receipt of the letter and will respond accordingly. 

The State Bar of Arizona told 12 News this week its investigating MCAO regarding the dropped cases. The agency has previously been investigated for not filing charges before the statute of limitations expired.

In 2019, MCAO said changes would be made to make sure it didn’t happen again, including reviewing protocols and getting alerts before the statute of limitations expires on a case.

RELATED: Maricopa County prosecutors forced to drop 180 cases due to internal failures

RELATED: 'We've charged innocent people': MCAO accused by protesters of helping to file false charges

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