Michael C. Cudahy
Criminal Justice Award

Established in 2006, the Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award presented by the Board of Governors recognizes 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.

2018 Recipient 

Kimberly H. Ortiz

Kimberly H. Ortiz, a native Tucsonan, has two obsessions: true life crime books and English Labrador Retrievers. She went to the Big Apple as the Western demographic admitted to Columbia University, and after graduation worked at the United States Attorney’s Office in D.C. before starting at the University of Arizona College of Law where she was the Law Review Research Editor with a published Note. Her 25-year career began at the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office in Nogales where her first trial was a home invasion. Despite presenting “the longest opening ever” according to the judge, both defendants were convicted after two weeks of trial. She eventually left Nogales for the Attorney General’s Office where she has served for 19 years under four administrations, supervising the Tucson prosecutors since 2011. She was an Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council Felony Prosecutor of the Year nominee in 1996 and 2013, and received AGO awards for Victim Advocacy in 2005 and 2013, Outstanding Trial Team in 2008, and Leadership in Action in 2014.  She sits on AGO’s Ethics, Brady, and Wiretap committees, and is an elected member of the Criminal Justice Executive Council. She also co-teaches Sentencing at UA Law and manages a 38(d) clinical program to mentor future prosecutors. She and her photographer husband Dominic also somehow successfully parented strong-willed twins who are graduating college soon.


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  
2015 Kellie L. Johnson
2016 James Alan Goodwin
2017 Hon. John S. Leonardo
2018 Kimberly H. Ortiz

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