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Home Awards & Recognition APAAC Award Winners

APAAC Award Winners





2015 Felony Prosecutor of the Year
(Small Jurisdiction)
Patrick Johnson

Deputy Pinal County Attorney

Patrick Johnson is nominated for the small jurisdiction Prosecutor of the Year because of his dedication, work ethic, and willingness to take Pinal County’s most violent offenders to trial. Patrick tried or co-tried ten cases during 2014-2015. These cases involved violent offenses such as first degree murder, armed robbery, and dangerous nature aggravated assault. His cases are even more serious because of the nature of his assignment. Patrick is the assigned violent crime prosecutor for offenses which take place within the many DOC and CCA facilities of Pinal County. The prosecution of a prison case is often an immense challenge. Patrick always accepts that challenge and has made himself a better prosecutor because of it while at the same time becoming an expert on prison gangs. Patrick is feared in the courtroom, but he is well liked by support staff, fellow prosecutors and law enforcement, who all appreciate his kindness and equanimity.





2015 Felony Prosecutors of the Year
(Large Jurisdiction)
Jeanneatte Gallagher & Blaine Gadow
Deputy Maricopa County Attorneys

In late September, 2011, Jerice Hunter subjected her five-year-old daughter, Jhessye Shockley, to extreme physical abuse as witnessed by her siblings. Jhessye was repeatedly beaten and confined to a closet without food or water. Ultimately, Jhessye simply disappeared. Evidence strongly suggested that Jhessye’s body was placed in a suitcase and tossed into a trash dumpster many miles from her home. However, an intensive search of a landfill failed to turn up the suitcase or Jhessye. Using the testimony of Jhessye’s sisters and other circumstantial evidence, Jeannette Gallagher and Blaine Gadow were able to put together a case that convinced a jury that Jhessye is dead, and that her mother is responsible for her death. Jeannette Gallagher and Blaine Gadow were selected to prosecute the Hunter case because of their proven advocacy skills, and their long and passionate history of fighting for justice for the most helpless among us. Through their skill and dedication, they were ultimately able to achieve justice for Jhessye.




  2015 Misdemeanor Prosecutors of the Year
Barbara Parascandola & Bob Smith
Assistant Phoenix City Prosecutors

On July 11, 2012, the City of Phoenix undertook a challenge on behalf of residents of the Woodbridge Apartments. Assistant City Prosecutors Barbara Parascandola and Bob Smith learned that residents were living without air conditioning when Phoenix temperatures were exceeding 100 degrees. The lack of properly working air conditioning led to the issuance of 49 civil violations. Many of the buildings and units suffered from blight and unsafe building conditions that resulted in the filing of 406 criminal violations. Some of the 149 occupied units were home to resettled refugees who were left without recourse until the City intervened. These two prosecutors successfully presented both the civil and criminal enforcement actions in the Phoenix Municipal Court and effectively argued that the property should be designated a slum property before an administrative panel. Ultimately, the court imposed $49,000 in civil sanctions and $2,823,500 in criminal fines.— at JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa.




  2015 Juvenile Prosecutor of the Year
Mike Daniels
Deputy Yavapai County Attorney

Mike Daniels is a compassionate juvenile prosecutor who shows the same passion for this position as the day he assumed the duties. As one defense attorney from Phoenix recently remarked about Mike, he “made a connection with all of them (the kid and his family). Prosecutors usually treat defendants with haughtiness. Instead in Prescott, here was this wonderful human being genuinely caring for these children, one right after another.” Mike is also a member of the MATFORCE Underage Drinking Task Force, the Juvenile Probation Sex Offender Court staff, and the Juvenile Probation Drug Court staff. He regularly instructs on juvenile law at the Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy (NARTA), and teaches procedural criminal law at Yavapai College. Mike coached the Prescott High School mock trial team, and even finds the time to be an assistant coach for his son’s wrestling and baseball teams.




2015 Appeals Prosecutor of the Year
Alice Jones (not pictured)
Assistant Attorney General

During the past year, Alice briefed and argued two important cases before the Arizona Supreme Court. In State v. Jones, Alice convinced the court to overrule a more than 20-year-old court of appeals opinion (State v. Arnoldi) that had held that the double punishment statute precluded trial courts from imposing consecutive sentences for dangerous crimes against children offenses that were construed to be the "same act," despite the clear wording of the more recent and more specific dangerous crimes against children statute which mandated consecutive sentences. This was a battle our office had fought for several years, and Alice convinced the court that the rules of statutory construction mandated consecutive sentences. In State v. Gilstrap, Alice convinced the court to adopt the "possession" test—rather than the far more defendant-friendly "relationship" or "actual-notice" tests—in determining whether law enforcement officers may search personal belongings of persons not named in the warrant when executing a search warrant on a home. Had the court adopted either of the other tests, police, prosecutors, and courts would have struggled to discern and apply the test on a case-by-case basis. The court wrote, "the possession test's simplicity, precision, and the guidance it offers to police and courts make it superior to the relationship and actual-notice tests.”




  2015 Rising Star Prosecutor of the Year
Zach Altman
Assistant Gilbert Town Prosecutor

Zach Altman, a two-year prosecutor, has demonstrated remarkable talent, and his accomplishments are extraordinary. Zach was one of 24 prosecutors selected nationwide for a 2015 Computer Forensics for Prosecutors course offered by the US Secret Service’s National Computer Forensic Institute. He was instrumental in developing procedures for Body Worn Camera videos in Gilbert. Zach is the office representative for the Maricopa Association of Governments Domestic Violence Council. Additionally, he attended the USDOT Federal Motor Carrier course and handles commercial vehicle cases. He is the office planner for the Continuation of Operations (COOP) disaster recovery plan. Zach volunteers with Gilbert Fire and assists Maricopa County with communications during search and rescues. Zach handles his heavy workload efficiently, demonstrates vast knowledge of the law, and possesses the highest ethical standards. For his extraordinary contributions to our office, the Town, and his community, Zach Altman is nominated for the Rising Star Award.




2015 David R. White
Excellence in Victim Advocacy Award

Theodore Campagnolo
Assistant Attorney General

Ted Campagnolo has been a prosecutor in the Fraud & Special Prosecution Section for more than eleven years and works with many victims of fraud and white collar crimes. Campagnolo consistently exceeds expectations while assisting victim advocates with their cases and serving victims. In his role as a prosecutor, he works diligently to ensure that victims’ rights are upheld for every victim in each case that he prosecutes. In his work, he demonstrates exemplary interaction with the victims, always making sure that victims are as comfortable as possible as they interact with the Criminal Justice System. Campagnolo is a superb communicator and the victims in his cases are not just informed about the process of the criminal justice system, but they also understand it.




  2015 Lifetime Achievement Award
Paul Lauritzen
Deputy Pima County Attorney

Paul Lauritzen received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa in 1976, graduating magna cum laude, and was admitted to the Arizona Bar in 1979. He was hired by the Pima County Attorney’s Office in 1980, where he has remained, singularly steadfast in his commitment to the protection of the public and the administration of justice in Pima County. Paul is an accomplished and respected prosecutor, with more than 150 felony jury trials under his belt; he is a mentor and a role model for his peers and the newer generation of prosecutors. His contributions to the Pima County Attorney’s Office are immeasurable. Paul Lauritzen is truly deserving of APAAC’s Lifetime Achievement Award.



    2015 Lifetime Achievement Award
Susan Luder
Deputy Maricopa County Attorney

Susan Luder has been a prosecutor at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for over 19 years. During this time, Susan was initially assigned to a Trial Bureau where she prosecuted defendants indicted for a variety of crimes, then transferred to the Charging Bureau where she honed her skills in charging felony cases and in presenting investigations to the grand jury. In January 2001, Susan was assigned to the Special Crimes Bureau as the AATA grant attorney providing services to the officers on the Task Force, persons involved with AATA programs, and agencies involved with the Bait Vehicle Program. In December 2006, Susan moved to the Gang/Repeat Offender Program Bureau and served as the Assistant Bureau Chief in ROP for four years and handled a number of dangerous felony cases. In February 2012, Susan joined the Appeals Bureau arguing her first case in the Court of Appeals after six months in the bureau. In 2013, Susan volunteered to argue another attorney’s case in the Arizona Supreme Court.



  2015 Lifetime Achievement Award
Lynn Potts
Assistant Mesa City Prosecutor

Lynn Potts started her career in 1985 as a Rule 28(e) intern in the Tucson City Prosecutor’s Office. She was a Deputy County Assistant for Pinal County before being hired as an assistant prosecutor with the Mesa Prosecutor’s Office, where she has worked for 28 years. During her career, Lynn helped streamline existing processes, supervised law school interns and prosecutors, taught police, developed manuals, created diversion programs and wrote grant proposals. Most importantly, Lynn’s career focused on domestic violence and victims’ rights. She created a Victims’ Rights Advocate Program, prepared a DV office manual, developed a newsletter on DV issues, and presented at DV workshops across the state. She was a member of numerous local, county and statewide organizations aimed at enhancing the prosecution of domestic violence cases and protecting victims’ rights. Lynn’s efforts as a public prosecutor have contributed significantly to the safety and protection of Arizona’s crime victims.



  2015 Lifetime Achievement Award
Laura Reckart
Deputy Maricopa County Attorney

Laura began her career in prosecution in June, 1989, at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Early in her career she established herself as a tenacious prosecutor with an unparalleled work ethic, and by 1991 she was assigned to the Sex Crimes Bureau where she prosecuted defendants who did unspeakable things to the most vulnerable victims. Between 1989 and 1999, Laura served the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in a variety of different assignments, including Trial Bureau A, Sex Crimes, the Juvenile Division, Gang/ROP, and Homicide. In 2000, Laura became an Assistant Attorney General. Between 2000 and 2006, Laura served the Attorney General as a drug crimes prosecutor, the Director of Victim Services, and a gang prosecutor. In 2006, Laura returned to MCAO, where she has served as a Homicide/Capital Litigation Attorney since 2007. For 25 years, Laura has focused on bringing justice to the victims of the most serious crimes imaginable.



  2015 Lifetime Achievement Award
Patti Wortman
Deputy Yavapai County Attorney

Patti began her prosecution career at the Gila County Attorney’s Office in 1990, shortly after graduation from law school. In 2002, Patti was named the Chief Deputy of the Gila County Attorney’s Office. She served as a member of the Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar, on the executive council of the State Bar’s Public Lawyer’s Section, and served as a member of the Chief Deputies Working Group and the Juvenile Justice Working Group. In 2013, Patti joined the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office, working out of its Verde Valley Office. She took numerous cases to trial, and quickly developed a reputation as a determined, but fair, litigator. In 2014, Patti became the supervisor of the Verde Valley office and also supervises the juvenile prosecution team. Patti’s experience and skill have greatly benefitted the citizens of Gila and Yavapai Counties, as well as Arizona.




2015 Legal Assistant of the Year
Linda Luke
Pima County Attorney's Office

Linda Luke has served the people of Pima County as a Legal Assistant in the Pima County Attorney’s Office since 1997.  She works in the Special Victims Unit, where her team prosecutes sexual crimes and crimes against children.  Linda works with victims and witnesses daily, spending countless hours gaining their trust and preparing them for the criminal justice process.  The longest tenured member of SVU, Linda is an invaluable source of experience and knowledge, providing critical training and mentoring to SVU’s newest members.  Linda is the heart of SVU. During the past year, Linda provided exceptional assistance on several major cases including State v. Randall, a multiple victim child sexual abuse case, and two abusive head trauma cases: State v. Riggin and State v. Fimbres.  Linda’s dedication to her teammates and to Pima County’s most vulnerable victims is unwavering.  I am honored to nominate her for APAAC’s 2015 Legal Assistant of the Year.





2015 Support Staff Person of the Year
Jael Mollindo

Support Staff Conference
Yuma County Attorney’s Office

As a paralegal, Jael routinely assists attorneys within the trial units of the office with the organization, preparation, and presentation of their jury trials. She has skillfully assisted in preparing trial exhibits and various materials for closing arguments in numerous trials involving homicide, child crimes, and other dangerous nature type offenses. Jael volunteered this year to assist with the preparation, organization, and disclosure of a cold case involving charges of capital first degree murder. Working with law enforcement, she developed an organizational system for processing the reports, diagrams, and audio files that resulted in a smooth transition from the stage of intake and charging through disclosure to the defense. She has organized and disclosed 78,000 pages of written material and approximately 400 CDs. This was clearly an amazing effort which was executed to perfection. Jael is the best type of team member.