AG Mark Brnovich grossly misreads ‘state law’ in Senate audit subpoena investigation

Opinion:  Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says Maricopa County supervisors must comply with a Senate subpoena, or risk losing revenue. But he’s wrong.

By Robert Robb |Arizona Republic

According to Attorney General Mark Brnovich, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is violating “state law” by not turning over some of the material subpoenaed by a couple of state senators for their fraud of an election audit.

Moreover, if the board doesn’t cough up the items by Sept. 27, a big hunk of the county’s state-shared revenues must be withheld.

There are a number of things monumentally wrong with this.

The first is that Brnovich, in all likelihood, is misapplying the statute he is purporting to enforce.

‘Bazooka’ law gives lawmakers unchecked power

A few years ago, Republicans in the Legislature created a legal bazooka to use against counties and cities that don’t bend to their will.

The statutory scheme gives any legislator the authority to refer an alleged violation of state law by local governments to the AG. The AG has to promptly investigate. If the AG concludes that state law has indeed been violated, state-shared revenues are to be withheld.


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September 2021