Report offers new details in alleged domestic violence incident involving AZ lawmaker

PHOENIX - Phoenix police are recommending that state Sen. Scott Bundgaard be charged with assault in a case of alleged domestic violence involving an ex-girlfriend as Senate Democrats file an ethics complaint.

Police said Bundgaard was not arrested the night of the Feb. 25 incident on State Route 51 in north Phoenix because of a state constitutional privilege that generally prohibits arresting legislators during legislative sessions.

According to newly released police reports, Bundgaard demanded he be taken out of handcuffs and officers say Bundgaard told them he was immune from arrest.

His girlfriend at the time, Aubry Ballard, was arrested but charges against her have since been dismissed.

A statement released by police Thursday says police have completed their investigation and submitted reports to city prosecutors.

The police investigation report indicates that five independent witnesses saw the fight alongside the freeway. The report said that the witness statement seemed more consistent with Ballard's story and indicated that the man involved was the aggressor.

One woman told dispatchers that the "man was beating the crap out of the person in the passenger's seat."

Another person on the 911 tape said they saw the man "grab the woman and slam her against the concrete barrier."

Bundgaard declined immediate comment, saying he hasn't seen the reports.

Bundgaard and Ballard have said they argued while driving home from a charity event but their accounts differ on what left bruises and cuts on each of them.

The police report shows a gun was in the car at the time but it was determined that it was not used in the altercation.

At least three different officers, according to the report, stated Bundgaard never mentioned Ballard touching the gun, as Bundgaard has alleged through his attorney.

Ballard issued a statement Thursday morning, saying:

I've never deviated recounting the facts of February 25th. The reports released today, including the statements of Phoenix Police officers and five independent witnesses, support what I've said happened between Senator Bundgaard and I.

My hope remains the same: That this awful night and this assault can become a part of my past.

The police report indicates that Bundgaard was given legislative immunity from arrest as the Senate session was in session at the time.

The report also indicates that police smelled alcohol on Bundgaard but he refused a field sobriety test.

Senate Democrats issued a statement late Thursday indicating their intention to file an amended ethics complaint based on the report.

Senate Assistant Minority Leader Leah Landrum Taylor stated in a press release, "The police report contradicts many of the statements that Senator Bundgaard has made describing the domestic violence incident. This report raises some serious ethical questions."   

Taylor also said there are issues involving whether he lied when he claimed Ballard reached for a gun and whether he was intoxicated while driving.

Taylor is reportedly pushing for a meeting with the Chair of the Ethics committee.


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