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Barbara LaWall takes no prisoners on Laura Conover in Star Op-Ed

In a blistering Op-Ed, former Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall destroys fellow Democrat Conover in a piece in the AZ Daily Star. Support Mike Jette, her Democrat challenger, if you can.

Laura Conover Has Failed This Community.

04-24-24 Arizona Daily Star

Barbara LaWall - Former Pima County Attorney (1996-2020)

Our current County Attorney, a former criminal defense attorney, has failed this community. She should not be re-elected. The position of County Attorney requires scrupulous honesty, integrity and unquestionable ethics. Laura Conover has failed. The State Bar is monitoring Laura Conover for the next year because she failed in her ethical responsibilities as a lawyer. Never before has the State Bar monitored an elected Pima County Attorney because of misconduct. It is shameful. Additionally, a primary focus of the County Attorney must be to protect the safety of the citizens of Pima County from violent and dangerous offenders. Laura Conover has failed in this as well. Murad Dervish was the violent and dangerous perpetrator who ended up murdering U of A professor Thomas Meixner. Dervish harassed and threatened Meixner and other faculty for months. He was so dangerous and frightening that many faculty beefed up their home security systems and bought bullet proof vests at their own expense. The U of A police twice brought harassment and threat charges to the County Attorney's Office for charging. Both times, the County Attorney refused to charge, leaving Dervish free to continue his harassment and threats, and finally killing prof. Thomas Meixner. When asked, Conover claimed she could not charge the case because the police brought the wrong charges, and that the police reports were 'minimal.' This failure clearly demonstrates why an experienced prosecutor, and not a defense attorney, is needed as County Attorney. Prosecutors are required to make their own independent charging decisions, not just charge whatever the police arrest an offender for. Dervish absolutely could have been charged under statutes different from what the police brought. And instead of taking responsibility and owning up to the fact that she failed to do the right thing, Conover lied. She claimed to have personally reviewed the case and said Dervish was not charged because the UA police reports were 'minimal.' Those 'minimal' reports consisted of 31 detailed and thoroughly written pages. Even worse, the paperwork revealed that Conover's review didn't take place until weeks after Meixner's murder. Repetitive offenders are responsible for the vast majority of burglaries, car thefts, organized retail thefts and crimes of fraud and they must also be held accountable. Laura Conover has failed in this responsibility as well. Jose Monreal Jr. is a Pima County Sheriff's Corrections Officer. He was arrested last October on 23 counts of theft after being captured on video 23 separate times not paying for items at a Walmart self-check out. Conover failed to charge him because 'it would be a daunting task. It would be like prosecuting 23 separate cases.' This is an utterly incompetent, totally ridiculous and ignorant claim. It's the response of someone with no knowledge of how to prosecute. An experienced prosecutor knows that 23 separate charges could be consolidated under one felony fraud scheme charge necessitating only one trial. Monreal is a repetitive thief. He wears a badge and should be held to a higher standard. Not filing felony charges tells him, every law enforcement officer in Pima County and everyone in our community that it is okay to steal repeatedly because you will not be held accountable. These are only a few examples of Conover's ineptitude. There are dozens more. I believe it is imperative to restore public safety by electing a new county attorney who has skills, expertise and extensive prosecution and management experience. We need someone who can restore integrity to the office. Mike Jette is running for Pima County Attorney. I am endorsing Mike Jette because he is a highly respected prosecutor with decades of experience as a local, state and federal prosecutor. He is known for his integrity, ethics and professionalism, for his dedication to crime victims, and for being a leader and manager who is motivated to work hard to protect the safety of our community. Vote for Mike Jette.

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