The History of The Pima County Attorney's Office
100 Years of Pima County Attorney's
  • Barbara LaWall





    1996-Present

    In 1996 Barbara LaWall became the first woman to be elected Pima County Attorney. Previously, she had been a Deputy County Attorney for 20 years, during which she prosecuted criminal cases as a trial lawyer; managed the Criminal Division as the Chief Criminal Deputy; and oversaw administrative, budgetary, and policy matters as Chief Deputy County Attorney.

  • Stephen D. Neely





    1976-1996

    A graduate of Orange Coast College in California and the University of Arizona College of Law, Neely spent seven years in the County Attorney’s Office working at various times as a trial attorney, a legislative liaison, the Grand Jury supervisor, and supervisor of the Sex Crimes unit. In 1976, Neely successfully ran as a Democrat for the position of Pima County Attorney. Reelected four times, he held the position for 20 years before retiring in 1996.

  • David G. Dingledine





    1976 & 1996

    Dingledine served twice as Pima County Attorney without ever being elected to the position. A graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law, he was appointed on two separate occasions to complete the terms of elected County Attorneys who had resigned their positions. Before his retirement in 2000, Dingledine had served over 30 years in the County Attorney’s office including as Chief Deputy and Chief Civil Deputy. He currently lives in Tucson and serves as a judge pro-tem.

  • Dennis DeConcini





    1973-1976

    Born in Tucson, DeConcini earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Arizona. He worked as an administrative aide to Democratic Governor Sam Goddard from 1965 to 1967, then ran and was elected Pima County Attorney in 1972. He resigned as County Attorney to campaign for the U.S. Senate seat he successfully won in 1976. DeConcini served as a Senator until 1996. Currently DeConcini is a member of the Arizona Board of Regents.

  • Rose Silver





    1969-1972

    Born in Austria, Silver emigrated to Detroit in 1918. She later moved to Arizona and became the first woman graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law. While in private practice in 1934, she represented the notorious gangster John Dillinger. In 1962 Silver became a Deputy Pima County Attorney. When William Schafer resigned, Silver was appointed to complete his term and thus became the first female Pima County Attorney. She remained into the 1970's as the legal advisor to the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

  • William J. Schafer





    1966-1968

    Schafer was born in Camden, New Jersey and attended law school at Case Western Reserve University. He worked for the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Alaska before moving to Tucson in 1960. In 1966, Schafer was appointed Pima County Attorney to complete his predecessor’s term. Elected to the position in 1968, Schafer resigned in 1969. He became an Assistant Arizona Attorney General in 1970 and later a Superior Court judge in Maricopa County. He currently resides in Phoenix.

  • Norman E. Green





    1963-1965

    Green attended law school at Temple University in Philadelphia before moving to Arizona. He worked first as an assistant Arizona Attorney General, then served six years as a Justice of the Peace in Pima County. Elected Pima County Attorney in 1962, he served until 1966 when he resigned to run for Governor.

  • Jack S. Podret





    1962-1963

    Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Podret graduated from Brown University and received his law degree from the Albany (NY) Law School. He served two years in the Far East as an ambulance driver during World War II. Podret began practicing law in Tucson in 1947 and joined the County Attorney’s office in 1954. In 1962 he was elected Pima County Attorney and served one term. He later became a Tucson City Magistrate and held that position until his death in 1967.

  • Harry Ackerman





    1958-1962

    Born in Tucson in 1924, he left high school at age 15 to enter the University of Arizona. During World War II Ackerman served in the Army Air Corps. He was admitted to the U of A Law School without a high school or college diploma. He was elected as a Democrat to both the AZ House of Representatives and the State Senate. Elected Pima County Attorney in 1957, he served two terms, then worked in the State Department as an advisor on Latin American affairs. In his retirement he served as a board member of KUAT-TV.

  • Raul H. Castro





    1951-1952 and 1954-1957

    Born in 1916 in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico and raised in Douglas, Raul Castro served twice as Pima County Attorney, the first from 1951 to 1952 and then from 1954-1957. He later served as Superior Court judge in Pima County, and then as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador and Bolivia. In 1974 he was elected Governor of Arizona. He resigned as Governor in 1977 when President Jimmy Carter appointed him U.S. Ambassador to Argentina. Now retired, Raul Castro lives in Nogales, Arizona.

  • Morris K. Udall





    1952-1954

    “Mo” Udall was born in St. Johns, Arizona in 1922 and served in the Army Air Force during World War II. He attended college and law school at the University of Arizona and, in between, played professional basketball with the Denver Nuggets. He was elected Pima County Attorney in 1952 and later served in Congress for 30 years. He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for President in 1976, losing to Jimmy Carter. Udall was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. He died in 1998.

  • Robert Morrison





    1950-1951

    A native of California, Morrison earned his Bachelor’s and law degrees at the University of Arizona. He was elected Pima County Attorney in the fall of 1950 on the Democratic ticket and served one term in that office. Subsequently Morrison was elected as Attorney General of Arizona. In 1958 he unsuccessfully ran for governor.

  • Bryce H. Wilson





    1948-1950

    Wilson graduated from the University of Arizona Law School in 1930. During World War II, he served in the Navy. He worked for five years as a Deputy County Attorney and as the Chief Deputy before being elected County Attorney as a Democrat in the fall of 1948.

  • Odin B. Dodd





    1946-1947

    Born in 1905 in Rutherford, Tennessee, Odin Dodd came to the University of Arizona where he earned his Bachelor’s and law degrees. He spent three years in private practice before becoming a Deputy County Attorney. After serving nine and one half years as a deputy, he ran for and was elected Pima County Attorney in 1946.

  • J. Mercer Johnson





    1939-1945

    A native of Naco, Arizona, Johnson first ran for Pima County Attorney in 1936 and was defeated in the primary election. Two years later, he became the Democratic nominee and won the position. He was reelected three times, then became a Superior Court judge in 1946. He served in that position for eleven years until becoming an Arizona Supreme Court Justice in 1957. He stepped down from the Court in 1960 to return to private practice.

  • Joseph B. Judge





    1937-1938

    Originally from New Jersey, Judge attended the University of Arizona before serving as a pilot in World War I. He completed his law degree at New York University and was admitted to the Arizona bar in 1932. In the fall of 1936, he ran for Pima County Attorney in the primary election against another Democrat. He narrowly won the primary by three votes, became the Democratic candidate, and won the position in the general election. Following his term in office, he remained active in the Democratic Party, holding many local and statewide positions.

  • Alexander Murry





    1934-1936

    Murry arrived in Bisbee, Arizona in 1903, and in 1914 was admitted to practice law before the Federal Court in Tucson. Before moving to Tucson, Murry was the Deputy County Attorney for Cochise County. He was elected Pima County Attorney in 1934 and served one term. In his retirement he moved to Port Huron, Michigan, where he died in 1943.

  • Clarence E. Houston





    1932-1933

    Born in 1891, Houston attended college in Louisiana but did not graduate. He served in the U.S. Army in France during World War I, then returned to complete his B.A., M.A. and law degrees at the University of Arizona. In 1932 Houston ran for Pima County Attorney as a Democrat and was elected. In 1936 he ran an unsuccessful campaign for Arizona Attorney General. Houston later served on the state Board of Regents and then on the Board of Directors of Tucson Medical Center until 1975. Houston died in 1980.

  • William G. Hall





    1929-1931

    After graduating from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, Hall came to Tucson in 1924 at the age of 21. He was a teacher and assistant coach at Tucson High School for two years before opening his law office. In 1929 he was appointed Deputy County Attorney. In 1930, Hall was elected Pima County Attorney and served one term. In 1935, Hall became a Superior Court judge and held that position for ten years. He served on the boards of two local financial institutions until his death in 1970.

  • Louis R. Kempf





    1927-1929

    Born in 1899 in Benson, Arizona, Louis Kempf attended grammar school and high school there. He went to the University of Arizona and graduated from law school in 1921. Kempf was elected Pima County Attorney in 1926. Reelected in 1928, he resigned as County Attorney in 1929 when he was appointed to be a Superior Court judge.

  • K. Barry Peterson





    1922-1927

    K. Barry Peterson earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1913 from the University of Oklahoma when he was 22 years old. He served in the Army during World War I as a 1st Lieutenant of Cavalry. After the war, he attended law school at the University of Arizona. He graduated in 1920 and was elected Pima County Attorney in 1922. In 1928, he was elected Arizona Attorney General. Peterson was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor in 1932 and a year later was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney for Arizona.

  • George R. Darnell





    1921-1922

    George R. Darnell, 1921-1922 In 1920 George Darnell was elected Pima County Attorney on the Republican ticket. He resigned after a year in office to be appointed a Superior Court judge. He then resigned from the bench in 1924 and resumed private practice as an attorney. Later, in 1942, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.

  • Kirke T. Moore





    1917-1920

    The Moore family arrived in Arizona in 1893 when Kirk was eleven years old. Following high school, he attended the University of Arizona from 1899 to 1904, then earned his law degree from Stanford University in 1908. That year he was elected to the Territorial Assembly and the following year was appointed Territorial Superintendent of Public Instruction. He also served in the first State Legislature before being elected Pima County Attorney in 1916.

  • George O. Hilzinger





    1912-1916

    Born in San Francisco in 1879, George Hilzinger earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mineralogy and Metallurgy from the University of Arizona in 1897. In 1898 he was appointed a Spanish interpreter for Pima County. He then attended the University of Michigan Law School, graduating in 1901. By 1911 he was a Territorial Commissioner for Arizona. Running on the Republican ticket, Hilzinger was elected the first Pima County Attorney under Arizona's new constitution.

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1912 - 1932
• George O. Hilzinger
1912-1916
• Kirke T. Moore
1917-1919
• George R. Darnell
1920-1921
• K. Barry Peterson
1922-1926
• Louis R. Kempf
1927-1929
• William G. Hall
1930-1931
1932 - 1952
• Clarence E. Houston
1932-1933
• Alexander Murry
1934-1936
• Joseph B. Judge
1937-1938
• J. Mercer Johnson
1939-1945
• Odin B. Dodd
1946-1947
• Bryce H. Wilson
1948-1949
• Robert Morrison
1950-1951
1952 - 1972
• Raul H. Castro
1951-52 & 1954-57
• Morris K. Udall
1952-1953
• Harry Ackerman
1958-1962
• Jack S. Podret
1962-1963
• Norman E. Green
1963-1965
• William J. Schafer 1966-1968
• Rose Silver
1969-1972
1972 - 1992
• Dennis DeConcini
1973-1976
• David G. Dingeldine
1976 & 1996
• Stephen D. Neely
1976-1996
1992 - 2012
• Stephen D. Neely
1976-1996
• Barbara LaWall
1996-Present
32 N. Stone Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85701