Prescott AZ (October 6, 2020) – The Arizona State Bar has announced its 2020 Award Winners, awarding to Deputy Yavapai County Attorney Bill Hughes the Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award. This award is presented annually to a criminal law prosecutor who has worked tirelessly to advance the principles of criminal justice by representing the public’s interest with integrity, fairness, tenacity, creativity, brilliance, and, above all, professionalism. Mr. Hughes will receive the award at the State Bar Annual Convention in December.
Hughes serves as the Chief Criminal Deputy in the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office. County Attorney Sheila Polk said, “Mr. Hughes is truly deserving of this award. Over the past five years, he has successfully led the innovative statewide prosecutor-driven effort to develop an officer integrity database that ensures due process for all involved.”
At the direction of the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Association (APAAC), Hughes chaired the groundbreaking project to create the centralized public-facing database. The dual goals of the project are to create an accessible, statewide repository for prosecutors in order to fully meet their disclosure obligations in criminal cases and to promote transparency in the criminal justice system.
Elizabeth Ortiz, the Executive Director of APAAC, who nominated Mr. Hughes for the award, stated, “Arizona is the first state to create a central repository, and Mr. Hughes essentially started from scratch. He showed tremendous leadership throughout the process and worked with multi-disciplinary stakeholders to develop model best practices. His leadership and hard work came to fruition earlier this past week when the website went live.”
Hughes stated he is honored to receive this award. “I am honored and humbled to receive the Michael C. Cudahy Award from the State Bar of Arizona. Mr. Cudahy was an outstanding prosecutor who is widely admired and respected by prosecutors, judges, law enforcement officers, and the defense bar. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve as a prosecutor and public servant. Many talented people worked together to create APAAC’s new database. The database will help to protect the rights of defendants and advance Arizona’s criminal justice system by making it more transparent to the public.”
Polk said, “Bill is a consummate professional who gives of himself day after day to make sure that justice is always served, and our communities are safe. We are so fortunate to have him on our team.”