Republican Rep. Liz Harris testifies before the House Ethics Committee on March 30 || Screenshot via Arizona Legislature/azleg.gov
By Caitlin Sievers || Arizona Mirror
Republican Rep. Liz Harris doesn’t believe that any “direct criminal allegations” were made during a committee meeting she organized wherein a speaker accused the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and a laundry list of local and state officials of being involved in an illicit money laundering scheme orchestrated by the Sinaloa drug cartel.
For about 90 minutes on Thursday, the state House of Representatives Ethics Committee questioned Harris about the Feb. 23 meeting, in an attempt to determine if she knew in advance that the speaker planned to spread wild and unfounded allegations.
The Ethics Committee adjourned Thursday afternoon to look over the evidence and deliberate what action it would take, if any, and Committee Chairman Joseph Chaplik, R-Scottsdale, did not indicate when the committee would reconvene to announce its decision.
House Democrats on March 6, led by Rep. Stephanie Stahl, asked that the Ethics Committee formally censure Harris for inviting Gilbert insurance agent Jacqueline Breger to speak during the joint Senate and House elections committee meeting on Feb. 23. Breger accused the LDS church and other officials, including Gov. Katie Hobbs and Republican House Speaker Ben Toma, of taking part in a housing deed and money laundering scheme alongside the Mexican drug cartel.
For more than 40 minutes on Feb. 23, Breger made salacious claims about the various officials and members of the legislature, accusing them of election fraud in addition to money laundering.
To back up her claims, Breger pointed to a book by her boyfriend, John Thaler, and a slew of documents upon which he apparently used to inform his book.
On Thursday, Harris said that Stahl had not reviewed any of the evidence of Breger’s claims before she made an ethics complaint, adding that she believes Stahl cannot prove that any of the information presented during the meeting was untrue.