Deputy Solicitor General Michael Catlett informed the county’s legal arm in an Aug. 6 letter that the attorney general’s office plans to look at whether the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors failed “to comply with valid and enforceable legislative subpoenas” as alleged in the complaint, filed by Arizona Senate Majority Whip Sonny Borrelli, which spurred the investigation.
The Aug. 3 complaint alleged a “clear violation of the law” and followed the county’s failure to turn over router access and election materials to the Republican-led state Senate, which had demanded them as part of the audit of the county's 2020 election.
Senate President Karen Fann and Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen recently served the county a new subpoena as part of the larger monthslong audit, demanding router access and network logins for ballot tabulation devices, among various other things.
County Chairman Jack Sellers, one of four Republicans on the five-member board, criticized the subpoena as an “attempt to distract attention from their botched audit and conspiracy-obsessed contractors.”
The attorney general’s investigation will determine whether the county violated state law and will take no further action if it is determined that no violation occurred, as explained in Catlett’s letter.
If Brnovich determines that the county did in fact violate state laws regarding legislative subpoenas, he will immediately notify the county, which will then have a 30 day deadline to resolve the violation. Failure to do so would result in the state funds being withheld from the county, Catlett noted.
In the event that the investigation determines Maricopa County “may have” violated state law, Brnovich will file an action with the Arizona Supreme Court, Catlett also stated.
State Sen. Kelli Ward, the Arizona Republican Party chairwoman, praised the investigation as “a start.” She, along with a number of local and national Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, have hailed the audit as necessary to unveil the extent to which alleged mass voter fraud spoiled the 2020 election in Arizona’s most populous county. At the same time, Democrats and some Republicans, including GOP members of the county’s board, have bashed the audit as having a basis in conspiracy theories and lies about the election being stolen from Trump.
Dr. Kelli Ward tweeted her ecstatic response, “There is now an official investigation by the Arizona Attorney General into the law-breaking by Maricopa County. It’s a start! #AmericasAudit #Accountability.”
Officials predict a report on the auditor's findings will be released later on in the summer.