PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel was in treatment for several health problems, including alcohol abuse, 12 days before publicly disclosing she was taking a leave of absence, she confirmed Tuesday.
Adel sought in-patient services in Arizona for anxiety and "unhealthy coping behaviors," on Aug. 29, according to a statement from Adel.
A week later, Adel was transferred to a facility in California, where she remains to receive treatment, Adel said.
On Friday, Adel announced she would be away from the office, a decision she said Tuesday was made at that time “because of rumors regarding my treatment that I didn't want to become a distraction for my office or that of county government.”
The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday that Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone gave MCAO 24 hours on Thursday to disclose to the county Board of Supervisors Adel’s absence from the office.
It was unclear whether anyone outside of MCAO knew Adel was receiving treatment in California prior to Penzone’s intervention, according to The Republic.
“Out of respect, members of the Board of Supervisors were notified prior to my public statement,” Adel said.
Adel's announcement came following a tumultuous year for the Republican.
She was hospitalized for a brain injury on Election Day in November 2020 after she fell at home, according to her office.
She underwent emergency surgery for bleeding in the brain and has since been recovering.
Adel defeated Democratic challenger Julie Gunnigle in the 2020 election to retain her position after she was appointed to replace Bill Montgomery, who left for a seat on the state Supreme Court.
Adel reiterated Tuesday she would remain in daily contact with her executive team during her absence.
“The work of the County Attorney’s Office continues,” Adel said.