Speeding Arizona lawmaker appears in court after warrant issued
PHOENIX — The Arizona lawmaker who gained notoriety for boasting to a deputy about his speeding habits showed up in court Thursday, a week after a warrant for his arrest was issued when he missed a court date.
The warrant was issued for Rep. Paul Mosley (R-Lake Havasu City) a day after he failed to appear in Parker Justice Court on Sept. 5. He was supposed to appear because of an excessive speeding charge.
Court documents show that Mosley appeared before a judge Thursday at 1:23 p.m. and pleaded not guilty. He was released on his own recognizance.
Mosley has hired a fellow state legislator, Rep. David Stringer of Prescott, to represent him.
Mosley made national headlines in July after video surfaced of him telling a deputy that as a government official he had immunity from citations. He was pulled over March 27 for allegedly going 97 mph in a 55-mph zone on a highway near Parker.
Mosley also reportedly told the deputy that he had been driving 120 mph earlier and that he’d even gone 140 mph on another occasion.
The District 5 legislator won’t be returning the Arizona Capitol next session after finishing third in the GOP primary last month, failing to reach the general election.
Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre said his office filed a complaint against Mosley for excessive speed. The charge is a class 3 misdemeanor.
“On or about March 27th, 2018, Stephen P. Mosley committed excessive speed by driving in excess of 85 mph,” the complaint read. The complaint was dated July 31.
McIntyre took over the investigation after the La Paz County Attorney Office referred the incident to avoid a potential conflict of interest.
According to ParkerLiveOnline, the deputy’s written report said, “Mosley also told me that I should just let him go and that I shouldn’t waste anymore of my time dealing with him.”
Shortly after the video surfaced, Mosley publicly apologized, saying his comments to the deputy were inappropriate and showed bad judgment.
“My desire to get home to see my family does not justify how fast I was speeding nor my reference to legislative immunity when being pulled over,” he said.
Paperwork from the Arizona Department of Public Safety showed that Mosley had been stopped several other times for traffic violations in 2017 and April 2018.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order in July to remove reckless driving from the types of offenses that lawmakers have immunity from during the legislative session.
“No one is above the law, and certainly not politicians,” Ducey said in a news release announcing the order. “Everyone should know that, but clearly a reminder is needed.”
The Arizona House Ethics Committee also said it would review a complaint filed against Mosley for misuse of legislative immunity.