Lawmaker wants court to rule on legislative immunity

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services

 
Sen. J.D. Mesnard/Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer

A former House speaker wants the state’s high court to rule that the concept of legislative immunity is so broad that he cannot be sued for defamation by ousted Rep. Don Shooter.

J.D. Mesnard, now a state senator, claims that he is absolutely protected from lawsuits over his decision to release an investigative report of Shooter, that concluded the Yuma Republican was guilty of sexual harassment of others, including lawmakers, lobbyists and even a newspaper publisher. That report became the basis for the 2018 House vote to expel Shooter.

Steve Tully, attorney for the Phoenix Republican, said the same is true of Mesnard’s decision to issue a press release explaining his actions.

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