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Pima court administrator Lisa Royal arrested on suspicion of DUI on New Year's

Lisa Royal, the administrator of Pima County's Justice Court system and a former justice of the peace, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in the early-morning hours of Jan. 1.

Royal, 60, was arrested about 1:30 a.m. near La Cholla Boulevard and Orange Grove Road, said Pima County Sheriff's Department Deputy James Allerton. She was scheduled to appear in Pima County Consolidated Justice Court on Jan. 31, but online court records did not include any reference to her case for nearly two weeks after her arrest.

Monday, Jan. 13, information about the case appeared on the Justice Court's website after news reports on the incident were published by the Green Valley News and TucsonSentinel.com, with those court documents indicating that the arraignment had been vacated and the case transferred to another court. Which court is now handling the case was not immediately apparent.

Royal was Green Valley's justice of the peace for more than four years. She left the court in August 2017 to resume her former position as Pima County Consolidated Justice Court administrator.

Royal retired as court administrator in 2012, signed an 18-month contract to stay in the position, then was appointed Green Valley justice of the peace in January 2013, after Gail Wight resigned mid-term. Royal, a Republican, was elected to a four-year term in November 2014.

She did not respond to cell phone and email messages left for her Friday.

Messages left with Kyle Bryson, Pima County Superior Court's presiding judge, and Adam Watters, the presiding judge of Pima County Consolidated Justice Court, were not returned.

It's a common practice to have a judge from another court handle cases in which there is a connection between a party and a court system.

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Royal was ticketed by Tucson police for "obedience required" — a violation that generally indicates disregarding a traffic signal, such as a stop sign — on December 15 in the 1900 block of North Stone Avenue, between Grant Road and Drachman Street. Tucson City Court records show that she paid $130 in fines and fees related to the ticket on January 2.

Following the holiday, court filings in other cases in Pima County Justice Court have been slow to appear in the online system, with some taking several days to be listed. The records indicate that the documents in Royal's case were filed on Jan. 2, despite not appearing until Jan. 13.

This report was first published by the Green Valley News.
TucsonSentinel.com’s Dylan Smith contributed to this report.

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