Tough On Crime

County Attorney Polk promotes criminal justice policies that put the right offenders behind bars. Under her leadership, the office has a well-earned reputation for being tough on crime. County Attorney Polk is highly regarded by police agencies across the county and state who know she will aggressively prosecute criminal offenders. County Attorney Polk has personally prosecuted hundreds of cases including child molesters, murderers, scammers of the elderly, rapists, domestic violence offenders, and other serious felonies.

Among her many notable verdicts is State v. McJunkin, a brutal sexual assault of a widow who was raped in her Cottonwood home by a man high on methamphetamine. She ensured this man, a repeat felony offender, never left prison again. County Attorney Polk is dedicated to protecting senior citizens from fraud and abuse. To that end, she prosecuted State v. Rubio and State v. Apolinar, men who “befriended” widowed women, then changed bank accounts, credit cards and house titles to steal all their assets. County Attorney Polk vigorously fought to recover their money and property to restore assets and dignity to these victims.

Perhaps County Attorney Polk is best known for her tireless work to prosecute James Ray, the self-help guru who caused the tragic deaths of three victims—a mother, a husband, a daughter—who had paid Ray $10,000 for his Spiritual Warrior training in Sedona. Instead of helping his victims, James Ray subjected them to a horrific two-hour heat event in a rubberized tent packed with 54 people, an event that left many sick and three people dead. In spite of the millions of dollars spent by James Ray and his defense team, Sheila and her small team prevailed in court after an arduous three-month trial, letting the world know that Sheila Polk, the Yavapai County Attorney’s and Sheriff’s Offices are among the finest prosecutors and law enforcement officers in the country.

County Attorney Polk is the recipient of many awards over her career recognizing her outstanding trial skills. In 2020, Polk received the Arizona Rural Health Association Outstanding Elected Official Award. In 2013, County Attorney Polk was recognized as the Public Safety Honoree for the Arizona Capitol Times Leaders of the Year in Public Policy Awards. In 2012, the Arizona State Bar awarded County Attorney Polk the prestigious Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award. Also in 2012, the Arizona Narcotics Officers Association awarded County Attorney Polk with the Meritorious Service Award. In 2000, she was awarded the APAAC Arizona Outstanding Felony Prosecutor for Rural Counties and the Outstanding Felony Prosecutor of Yavapai County. In 1998, she was awarded the Outstanding Felony Prosecutor of Yavapai County. In 1993, she was awarded the Outstanding Felony Prosecutor for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.