Statement of Committee to Elect Denise Mushro-Rumchak
As concerned voters, we are deeply saddened to learn that an elected official and candidate for county clerk has unresolved felony criminal charges on her record. We are grateful that our candidate, Denise Mushro-Rumchak, implored those of us with whom she shared the information given to her not to take any action and to hold this in confidence. After The Herald News ran the story regarding Ms Staley Ferry never appearing for a felony charge, this committee consulted an attorney to review the facts.
In 2003, Ms. Staley Ferry was charged with felony forgery and theft. She hired an attorney to represent her in September of 2003, proving that she was aware of the serious charges against her. The attorney appeared in court on multiple occasions based on the court docket.
On October 10, 2003 Ms. Staley Ferry’s counsel appeared and made a motion before the court “to allow Defendant to remain in Chicago, Illinois until the Preliminary Hearing is held.” (See attached court order). The order also stated:
LET THE RECORD REFLECT that the Court enters a Plea of Not Guilty to all charges on behalf of the Defendant.
IT IS ORDERED releasing the Defendant on her own recognizance as to all charges.
After this court appearance, Ms. Staley Ferry’s attorney appeared on two other occasions before the Court, asking for more time before a preliminary appearance. On December 18, 2003, Ms. Staley Ferry’s attorney appeared yet again, asking to withdraw from the case because he could not reach Ms. Staley Ferry in Chicago. (See Order of 12/18/03 attached). At this Appearance on December 18, 2003, the Court issued a bench warrant for Ms. Staley Ferry’s arrest.
Based on the Court docket, the State of Arizona attempted to serve and/or apprehend Ms. Staley Ferry for several years following this appearance without success. Eventually, the charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning that the Maricopa County State’s Attorney could refile the case at any moment. If convicted of a felony charge, Ms. Staley Ferry would be unable to serve as county clerk or a county board member.
Ms. Staley-Ferry has maintained her innocence. That is her right. Every attorney has a professional obligation to keep his or her clients aware about a case. Ms. Staley Ferry claims she does not recall details of the court case.