Partisan audit says county recorder’s actions questionable, not illegal

Adrian Fontes/Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore

 

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Adrian Fontes

Preliminary results of an audit commissioned by the Arizona Republican Party concluded that Maricopa County’s Democratic recorder didn’t violate any laws during the 2018 general election and that two disputed policies he implemented didn’t affect the outcomes of any races.

Attorney Stephen Richer, who is conducting the audit, was unable to substantiate several other claims, some of which did not cite a source for allegations, that Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes acted inappropriately and manipulated the election process to favor Democrats. Richer wrote that he is still awaiting records from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, and emphasized that the findings are not final.

Richer wrote that then-AZGOP Chairman Jonathan Lines commissioned the audit in November 2018 in response to Republican concerns about the party’s November losses, which came after Democrats took the lead in several statewide races in the days after Election Day. Richer works for the law firm Steptoe and Johnson, but conducted the audit as a volunteer, not as an employee of his firm.

The audit focused on four issues:

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