Tim Steller's column: Flip-flop on Louis Taylor convictions marks Conover's term

The phone rang when Pima County Attorney Laura Conover was at home in Tucson washing dishes, and the caller was at a Phoenix-area restaurant.

It was Nick Acedo, an attorney on contract for Pima County, returning Conover’s call about her plan to vacate the criminal case against Louis Taylor, the man convicted of setting the deadly 1970 Pioneer Hotel fire.

Acedo didn’t like the plan and, according to Conover, lost his temper.

The call happened two years ago, on May 27, 2022, but it still resonates powerfully today. It could help determine whether Taylor wins significant damages against Pima County and the city of Tucson in a trial scheduled for July 8.

In this election year, with Conover facing a Democratic primary challenge, it also helps shed light on how she has handled one of the trickiest issues of her first term as county attorney — the criminal and civil cases involving Louis Taylor.

Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star