Lando Voyles, Pinal County Attorney, Says Fired Prosecutors Were Never Suspected of Crimes; Earlier Statement May Have Left "Mistaken Impression"
First, the January 2nd email (borrowed from www.santanvalley.com):
After a tumultuous ending to what appeared to be an otherwise peaceful transition, Lando Voyles, the newly elected Pinal County Attorney stated, "During the duration of my campaign I pledged to strengthen criminal prosecution against violent offenders that require mandatory prison time by holding people accountable."
Lando continued, "The personnel changes enacted over this transition are paramount to changing the culture within this office."
Lando agreed that some of the dismissed individuals deserve credit for a good career in prosecution and was disappointed by the recently failed cooperation between his transition team and other departments within the county.
Lando stated, "This failed cooperation made this a less than desirable transition. However, the obstacles placed before me could not prevent me from my resolve to change the deep rooted culture, within this office, of releasing violent offenders. Some of these changes became necessary and apparent after meticulous interviews and reviewing employees' work product."
Lando further stated, "Aside from the deep rooted lackadaisical style of prosecution, this office was in complete disarray from mismanagement."
Lando argued that an investigation of embezzlement within the office demonstrates this mismanagement.
"We are currently investigating theft that occurred within the office. While the individual remains innocent until proven guilty, the former management failed the citizens of Pinal County by allowing this theft to go on for an undetermined amount of time and for an undetermined dollar amount."
This will be Lando's basis for his upcoming request to the Board of Supervisors for a Director III position who will manage all of the money within the office and report directly to Mr. Voyles.
The Director III will determine if an external audit is necessary. Based on this mismanagement, Lando mentioned, "All of those in management positions above the individual who is suspected of theft could not be allowed to remain employed in my office."
Lando ended by saying, "I expect honesty and demand accountability."
Next, the May 24 email:
Voyles Clarifies Press Release Regarding Former Pinal County Attorney Prosecutors
FLORENCE, AZ (5/24/13) - On January 2, 2013, Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles issued a News Release related to his transition into office.
The News Release announced personnel changes, including the dismissal of Pinal Deputy County Attorneys, which were enacted during the transition. In addition, the News Release informed the public of possible embezzlement within the office that Voyles pledged to investigate.
In the days that followed the News Release, it became apparent that the reference to the embezzlement investigation may have left the mistaken impression that the former Pinal Deputy County Attorneys may have played some role in the possible embezzlement or might be subjects of the investigation.
In order to clarify his message, Voyles announced today, "My January 2, 2013 News Release was not, in any way, intended to convey that Paul Ahler, Kristy Perkins, Stacey Heard, James Heard, Neil Miller, Susan Crawford or any of the other attorneys I dismissed have ever been suspected of any improper or illegal activity. All of these individuals are devoted public servants whose integrity should not be questioned. I regret any confusion that may have been created from my January 2, 2013 News Release."