Along with a new prosecutor comes a host of changes and new faces to the county attorney’s office.
Many staffers left after the upset election victory of Bradley Beauchamp, including 20-year veteran and former chief deputy attorney Patti Wortman. On Tuesday, the Gila County Board of Supervisors approved Shawn Fuller as the new chief deputy.
Beauchamp, who defeated Daisy Flores in the Republican primary, requested the county hire Fuller, who had previously worked for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Fuller will officially start Jan. 28.
Fuller will work primarily out of the Payson attorney’s office. Beauchamp said he’s already looking for a home in Rim Country.
Naming Fuller chief deputy county attorney is part of Beauchamp’s reorganization plan for the office. Under Flores, the office had two chief deputy attorneys — Wortman in Payson and Bryan Chambers in Globe. Wortman resigned from her position after Flores’ defeat, finishing out her last day Jan.
- Chambers is still with the office, but now works as the attorney for the board of supervisors, county staff and Gila Community College.
“(Chambers) won’t be supervising any attorneys,” Beauchamp told the supervisors Tuesday.
Besides his duties in Payson, Fuller will supervise other attorneys in the office, as well as provide training and mentoring to many of the younger attorneys, Beauchamp explained.
Fuller comes to Gila County with two stints as a Maricopa County attorney and one with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on his resumé. In Maricopa County, Beauchamp said Fuller prosecuted both gang activities and homicides. In the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alaska, Fuller handled drug cases.
In 2011, the Arizona Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators named Fuller the Attorney of the Year after he successfully prosecuted a man in connection with a 2001 structural fire that resulted in the death of a Phoenix firefighter.
Fuller attended the University of Arizona and was admitted to practice law in 2003, according to online records.
With the Gila County Attorney’s Office consolidating to one chief deputy attorney, the supervisors agreed to a pay increase for that position.
Fuller will reportedly earn $124,779 a year, which Beauchamp said is competitive with private practice lawyers in Gila County and counties of similar size and resources. Beauchamp said the changes will actually end up saving the county nearly $20,000 in wages annually.
Other county attorneys that have left in recent months include Ramai Alvarez and Laci Cooper. Wortman’s secretary Barbara Shepherd also resigned in December, prompting her to also quit her position on the Payson School Board.
Meanwhile, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved hiring Wortman for the attorney’s office there.
Beauchamp did not return an e-mail for comment.