Highlights from Lucky 13…
- The Pima County Attorney’s Office is not the only agency going through an historic transition. Many of our partner agencies are, as well. At Pima County Justice Court, where County misdemeanors and limited civil matters are heard, Judge Kendrick Wilson was recently promoted to Chief Presiding Judge, a position that had been vacant for some time. The Court Administrator position will also be permanently filled by Teresa Underwood, who is soon to be relocating from Cleveland. To that end, Sara Wright (from our misdemeanor unit) identified a critical need and knew that, with a new Justice Court administration, it was time to present to the senior leadership team a complete proposal, application, and implementation plan for a brand new Mental Health Diversion Court. Fantastic initiative! We can’t wait to partner with the Court and the Sheriff’s Department on this, and – next stop – working to add diversion to our Mental Health Court within Superior Court. The decriminalization of mental illness will continue forward in Pima County.
- Recent months and, especially, weeks have been extraordinarily stressful within the diverse Asian-American communities across the country. This week, at a community meeting here in Pima County, 159 people joined senior staff from TPD, PCSD, UAPD, and myself at a virtual event hosted by Peter Chan at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center that served more than 12 separate, dynamic Asian communities here locally. Jack Chin, PCAO senior counsel who has lectured there in years past, joined me and local law enforcement to listen to very real fears and reports of verbally-abusive behavior locally. We were able to assure folks that this behavior will never be tolerated, and through a lengthy Q&A, we hope we alleviated stress and built upon critical relationships.
- When growing and expanding our new Conviction and Sentence Integrity Unit, it’s not a bad idea to sit down with a United States Pardon Attorney who directly served both President George HW Bush and President Bill Clinton. So, I did. This week, I got to meet Margaret Colgate Love to discuss the ways in which the nation is embracing a myriad of relief for worthy cases of people who are incarcerated: clemency, pardons, a Second Look, Compassionate Release, the First Step Act… to name a few. I have long admired Margy Love, who – though she lives in D.C. – was colleagues with UA Law Dean Marc Miller at the Department of Justice, worked on cases with Larry Hammond, and runs the Collateral Consequences Resource Center, with Board Chair Jack Chin. She has so many connections to the desert, and I was delighted to steal two hours with her!
It is, indeed, lucky to see Passover and Easter intersect this year, and so I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and Kosher Passover, a Blessed Easter, and a sweet Semana Santa.
To be continued,