Lawmaker seeks probe after Maricopa County rejects subpoena

August 3, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — A top Arizona lawmaker asked state Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Tuesday to investigate whether Maricopa County is breaking the law by refusing to comply with subpoenas for records related to the 2020 election.

Majority Whip Sonny Borrelli of Lake Havasu City, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, filed his complaint under Senate Bill 1487. The 5-year-old law allows any lawmaker to demand an investigation of “any ordinance, regulation, order or other official action” taken by a local government that may conflict with state law.

Brnovich has 30 days to review the complaint. If he finds a violation, the county could face a loss of funding if the problem is not rectified.

The Republican-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has been at increasingly tense odds with Senate GOP leaders over the 2020 election. As former President Donald Trump looked for reasons to overturn the election results late last year, top senators issued subpoenas for all 2020 ballots, the machines that counted them and other data in the state’s most populated county.


The materials were given to contractors with little to no election experience for what Senate President Karen Fann calls a “forensic audit.” Election experts say the 2020 election was secure and well-run, and the contractors are using bizarre and unreliable procedures. Maricopa County has refused further participation.

“The Board has real work to do and little time to entertain this adventure in never-never land,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, a Republican, wrote to Fann on Monday.

Fann and Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen issued a new subpoena last month demanding mail-in ballot envelopes or images of them, administrator-level access to vote-counting machines, network logs and routers.

“The level of disrespect and contempt from the supervisors toward Senate leadership and Arizona voters is appalling,” Borrelli said in a statement.

County officials say they have already provided the envelope images. They say giving up the routers would compromise the security of the county’s entire network and that only the voting machines’ manufacturer, Dominion Voting Systems, can provide administrator-level access.

A spokeswoman for Brnovich, Catherine Mejia, confirmed he received the complaint and declined to comment further.

Meanwhile, a Maricopa County judge on Tuesday ordered the state Senate to release public records requested by American Oversight, a political watchdog group. Judge Michael Kemp rejected the Senate’s arguments that records maintained by the contractors are not subject to public records law and that legislative immunity prohibits the court from weighing in.