Liz Harris speaks with attendees at a rally hosted by EZAZ at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix in January 2022. The ethics investigation into Republican Harris of Chandler, who is now a state representative, is still up in the air as she joins a growing list of state lawmakers who have had ethics probes in recent years. || Gage Skidmore/Flickr
By: Jakob Thorington Arizona Capitol Times April 7, 2023
The ethics investigation into Rep. Liz Harris, R-Chandler, is still up in the air as the freshman lawmaker joins an expanding list of state lawmakers who have had ethics probes in recent years.
There is yet to be a ruling on the ethics complaint filed against Harris. House Ethics Committee chairman Rep. Joe Chaplik, R-Scottsdale, said after Harris’ testimony to the committee on March 30 that the complaint was going into advisement for ethics members to consult with legal staff and determine a ruling later.
The complaint was filed by Rep. Stephanie Stahl-Hamilton, D-Tucson, and alleges Harris engaged in disorderly conduct for inviting Jacqueline Breger to a Legislative joint elections hearing. Breger proceeded to accuse several elected officials of participating in a bribery deed scheme with the Sinaloa Cartel, including Gov. Katie Hobbs and Speaker of the House Ben Toma, R-Peoria.
The ethics hearing largely focused on a text exchange submitted as evidence between Harris, Breger and suspended attorney John Thaler. Breger was representing Thaler, who had already presented the claims Breger provided to a federal judge. The judge dismissed them as a “delusional and fantastical narrative,” and House and Senate leadership have criticized Harris for inviting Breger.
Ethics members are considering how much of Breger’s testimony Harris knew before Breger presented to the Legislature, and whether it was a predetermined plan by the three to avoid having Breger’s presentation screened by Toma so she could allege wrongdoing of elected officials.