By Andrew Oxford | Arizona Republic
Lawyers investigating ethics complaints against Rep. David Cook said Friday that he had a relationship with a lobbyist that appeared to be romantic in nature, casting doubt on their insistence that it was instead just a friendship.
The long-anticipated report also raised questions about Cook’s recounting of his conversations with the Pinal County sheriff, who canceled the planned seizure of the lobbyist’s farm property over unpaid taxes after the legislator raised concerns.
But the report ultimately accused Cook of refusing to fully cooperate and depriving a select House ethics committee with a full accounting of his relationship with AnnaMarie Knorr, who previously represented an agricultural industry group. One complaint filed against Cook said that amounted to a conflict of interest for the lawmaker.
The report said Cook “demonstrated a pattern of disruptive behavior related to alcohol” but acknowledged that facts surrounding parts of the investigation remain in dispute.