Local opinion: Conover's Mismanagement

County Attorney Laura Conover’s motto is she is “data driven and results oriented.” This is a catchy slogan that should be applied to her handling of felony cases and management of the human and financial resources of the Pima County Attorney’s Office (PCAO). Numbers may be boring, but they matter. Unfortunately, the data reveals Conover’s results have been abysmal in three regards:

First, data published by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) reveal that PCAO under Conover’s administration has become inefficient and is violating the Arizona Supreme Court rule that enforces the constitutional right to a speedy trial for defendants and victims. In 2019, before Conover took office, the average time to complete a felony case was 150 days, below the 180-day requirement in the rule. In 2023, three years into the Conover administration, the average time to disposition for felony cases increased to 268 days — a serious violation of the rule and constitutional speedy trial guarantee that is harming both crime victims and defendants.

Dave Smutzer, Special to the Arizona Daily Star