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Dems accuse AG Brnovich of putting tax dollars at risk over political moves

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich
Posted at 5:09 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 22:18:53-04

PHOENIX — The lone Democrat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors says Attorney General Mark Brnovich needs to resign if he continues to inject himself into political fights. Brnovich says Steve Gallardo and his Republican colleagues violated state law by refusing to comply with a State Senate subpoena ordering the Board of Supervisors to turn over computer routers as part of its 2020 election audit.

“We were not going to jeopardize the infrastructure of this county,” Supervisor Gallardo said.

The board refuses to give up the routers because it views them as part of the county’s infrastructure. They contain important and personal information from law enforcement and county agencies along with information tied to the election.

The attorney general’s opinion can have a significant impact on the county.

“It’s unconscionable, unconscionable that he would subject Maricopa County, losing $700 million and hurting more than 4 million residents of Maricopa County,” said Gallardo.

Lake Havasu State Senator Sonny Borelli, a Trump supporter, and leader in Arizona’s Stop the Steal movement, sent a letter to the attorney general requesting what is known as a 1487 investigation.

Named for the Senate Bill, it allows any legislator to ask for an investigation of a city or county government suspected of violating state law.

If a violation exists, the city or county could lose state funding.

“The election is over. And to threaten emergency response, vital services, public safety as part of playing politics is very dangerous,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.

Gallego joined Gallardo and several other Arizona Democratic Party leaders on Thursday in calling out the attorney general.

Brnovich spokesperson Katie Conner said, “General Brnovich’s duty is to enforce the law as it is. There is nothing political about enforcing the law. But unfortunately, partisan activists are projecting their opinions on to others.”

Democrats say the attorney general, who was the first Republican state official to debunk claims of election fraud in Arizona, is now trying to appease former President Donald Trump and his supporters in an attempt to win the Republican Senate primary election next year.

Trump singled Brnovich out during his visit to Phoenix in July.

“Hopefully your Attorney General Mark Brnovich is going to take information given by these incredible warriors and patriots. He’s going to take it and he’s going to do what everybody knows has to be done. If he doesn’t do that, it will be so sad,” Trump said.

In the letter Brnovich sent the supervisors, he did provide a way out.

That would be to negotiate a settlement with Senate President Karen Fann or hand over the routers by September 27 so it won’t have to forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars in state sale tax review dedicated to the county.

Supervisor Gallardo suggested a third option, “We need the courts to have a full review of this and have an understanding of what’s at stake. I would imagine at some point the courts are going to get involved.”