Bill Montgomery Meets With Elected Officials, Forms Transition Team; Likely County Attorney Getting Early Start

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Bill Montgomery hasn't been elected Maricopa County Attorney yet, but he's already formed a transition team and has been meeting with elected officials.

Can't say we blame him, since there isn't a snowball's chance in Phoenix that he'll lose November 2's general election to Libertarian Michael Kielsky.

Montgomery won the Republican primary election against Interim County Attorney Rick Romley, and no Democrats are running.

Forming a transition team seemed "prudent" under the circumstances, Montgomery tells us, but he hopes this isn't a discouragement for Kielsky, who's working "extremely hard" on the campaign trail.

Montgomery's team so far:  

* Steve Twist -- a friend of Montgomery's with long political roots in Arizona. He's was former Arizona Attorney General Bob Corbin's right-hand man and was the lead prosecutor in the case against former Governor Evan Mecham. Twist is currently vice president and general counsel for Services Group of America in Scottsdale, and works as an adjunct professor at Arizona State University's law college.

* Diane Humetewa -- former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. The George W. Bush appointee was the first Native American woman to serve as a U.S. Attorney. President Obama replaced her last year with Dennis Burke.

* Jonathan Schwartz -- retired Maricopa County Superior Court judge. Schwartz had a brief, guest appearance in the judicial complaint letter written last year by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's chief lackey, David Hendershott. Remember Judge Gary Donahoe's consternation over the failure of jail inmates to be transported to court on time? Schwartz apparently started that ball rolling, according to Hendershott's complaint letter -- a letter that was later recast as the unusual probable cause statement attached to the criminal complaint filed against Donahoe.

* Len Munsil -- local lawyer, blogger and right-wing activist who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006.

* Mark Faull -- local lawyer, former Tucson cop and former employee of the County Attorney's office. Served as one of Andy Thomas' special assistants.

Final decisions on staffing under the new regime won't be made until after the election, Montgomery says.

Montgomery also met this week with all but one of the County Supervisors, the presiding judge of the Superior Court, (Norman Davis), and "about half" of the county's elected officials, he says.

Is the former tank commander prepping the battlefield? Or is this the beginning of a new detante in the county?

Time will tell.

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