County to defend against Bar complaint involving prosecutor it fired

Maricopa County will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend an Arizona attorney’s complaint against a former prosecutor who was fired for falsely accusing protesters.

The county oversight board on Wednesday “upped the Risk Management Department additional legal fees and costs” in defending an attorney’s complaint about April Sponsel, who was fired in 2022 for her involvement in the prosecution of protesters in 2020. Authorized to pay $350,000″ unanimously. on suspicion of gang violence.

Sponsell was part of the County Attorney’s Office First Response Division, which wrongfully prosecuted 15 protesters as gang members in 2020.

Last month, social justice advocates criticized Surprise after Mr. Sponsell gave a class on courtroom testimony at Surprise Police Station.

The county attorney and oversight board did not immediately respond to questions about payments filed Wednesday afternoon. The court also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is a story that continues. Head back to azcentral for the latest information.

Republic reporter Sasha Hapka contributed to this article.

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