Michael C. Cudahy
Criminal Justice Award

This award was established in 2006 by the Board of Governors. It is to be presented to the criminal law prosecutor who during his or her career 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.

2015 Recipient


 Johnson, Kellie



KELLIE L. JOHNSON graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona School of Law in 1996.  She joined the Pima County Attorney's Office as a trial prosecutor in 1997. During her career as a prosecutor, Ms. Johnson has served in the domestic violence, violent crimes, and gang units. She was first promoted to supervisor in 2003 and has since supervised the Gun Crimes, Narcotics, Property and Violent Crimes Units. Ms. Johnson currently serves as the Chief Criminal Deputy, responsible for overseeing the operations of the Pima County Attorney's Criminal Division and supervising more than 75 prosecutors. She has held that position since 2011.

During her career as a prosecutor, Ms. Johnson has handled all manner of cases, including many first degree homicides. She has first chaired more than 155 jury trials, and has handled hundreds more. Ms. Johnson has been recognized at both the state and national levels for her trial advocacy.  She was selected as Arizona's Felony Prosecutor of the year in 2011 by the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory Council and received the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation's Trial Advocacy award in the same year. Ms. Johnson currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation.


Prior Recipients

The award has been presented to:

2006     Rick A. Unklesbay
2007 Paul K. Charlton
2008 Daniel G. Knauss
Kathleen A. Mayer
2009 Barbara LaWall
2010 Sandra M. Hansen
2011 Beth A. Anderson
2012 Sheila Polk
2013 Hon. Randall M. Howe
Hon. Kent Cattani
2014 Theodore Campagnolo