In the latest iteration of difficulties that have beset Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel since she was appointed to her current role in 2019, she announced last week that she would be entering treatment for personal issues, including an eating disorder and alcohol usage.
Details are scarce, but statements from her Twitter account imply in-patient treatment, as she states that she will be in daily contact with her team as they manage the department.
Regular readers will remember that Adel was hospitalized after a fall on election night; it was determined that she had bleeding between her brain and skull. Since then, she has also faced a lawsuit from a former attorney in the department, alleging that she was unfairly scapegoated and let go from the department, as well as a relationship with the Phoenix Police Department that is under investigation from the federal Department of Justice.
We applaud Adel for having the bravery to acknowledge her problems and taking the steps to rectify them. All of Maricopa County is well served by a County Attorney’s office that is led with a sound mind and few distractions, so we wish Adel well in her journey to recovery and self-improvement so she can effectively lead during the remaining 3 ½ years of her term.
All of that said, we all want to believe that the people we elect are the very best that our areas have to offer for that particular role. Elections are not just a contest of ideas, but a statement about the suitability of a person for a role. It is hard to believe that someone who has had so many issues in a short time in office was the right person for that job. Considering the critical nature of her role, how could she be the best person to fulfill her duties when she has such significant personal demons to deal with at the same time?
Perhaps the best move for Allister Adel, as well as all of Maricopa County, would be for her to step aside. Not all people are right for public office, and that’s ok.