After Maricopa County defies audit subpoenas, Arizona senator prompts attorney general investigation

Sen. Sonny Borelli, R-Lake Havasu CityArizona Legislature

By Mary Jo Pitzl | Arizona Republic

A state senator has invoked a law to prompt an attorney general investigation into the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, one day after the board rebuffed a subpoena related to the ongoing audit of the November 2020 election.

The request from Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, could imperil millions of dollars of sales tax revenue the state shares with the county. It also turns up the heat on a Senate-county struggle that appeared to hit a pause after Monday’s inaction.

After the supervisors sent Senate President Karen Fann a letter explaining why they would not comply with the Senate subpoenas, Fann said she would review the Senate’s potential next steps. The subpoenas again requested, among other things, the routers used on county vote-tabulation machines and passwords to those machines — items the Senate had asked for earlier this year and which were rejected. 

Borrelli’s request opens a new front in the months-long battle. He is asking Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate the supervisors’ alleged failure to follow state laws regarding legislative subpoenas.

Under a state law passed several years ago, lawmakers can request such investigations if they believe a city, town or county has adopted a policy that violates state law. The attorney general is obligated to do such an investigation and produce a report within 30 days of the request.

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