Counsel hired for ethics probes into Arizona lawmaker accused of affair

Feb 12, 2020, 12:00 PM

PHOENIX – The Arizona House Ethics Committee announced Wednesday it hired outside counsel to investigate to two complaints filed against a lawmaker accused of having an affair with a lobbyist.

A team from Ballard Spahr LLP led by attorney Mark Kokanovich will assist the committee’s probe into allegations made recently against Rep. David Cook.

The Republican from Globe has been accused of carrying on an inappropriate romantic relationship with AnnaMarie Knorr, a lobbyist for an agriculture trade group. Cook sits on two committees that hear agriculture-related bills.

A separate complaint alleges that Cook bribed Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb with campaign contributions to prevent the tax debt seizure of property owned by Knorr and her husband in 2018.

Lamb has said he halted the seizure when he learned of it from Cook, but he never discussed a campaign contribution. Rather, he said, he wasn’t aware of the pending seizure and wanted to first come up with protocols for property seizures before proceeding.

The complaint about the alleged relationship with Knorr was filed Jan. 29 by Janell Alewyn, a constituent in Cook’s Legislative District 8.

The bribery accusation was made by Feb. 4 by Kevin Cavanaugh, a retired police officer and former deputy chief for the Pinal County Sheriff’s.

The complaints were released to the public record Feb. 5.

In January, Knorr was put on leave from her job with the Arizona Western Growers Association after a media reports revealed details from intimate letters between her and Cook.

Cook and Knorr have said they’re friends and their relationship did not cross ethical boundaries. The lawmaker has sponsored four bills promoted by Knorr’s group, according to the ethics complaint.

Republican Rep. T.J. Shope, chairman of the Ethics Committee, temporarily recused himself from the panel because he and Cook represent the same legislative district.

Cook has previously been penalized in the House after an extreme DUI arrest in 2018. A committee he was set to chair was disbanded, and he was removed from the House Public Safety Committee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

NFL offering free CPR training during Super Bowl week

The NFL and American Heart Association will provide free CPR education in Arizona throughout Super Bowl week as part of the NFL Experience.
10 hours ago
(AP Photo)...

Glendale ranks 4th in study of worst commutes in US

In a new study of U.S. cities, Glendale ranks fourth in terms of the nation's worst commutes.
10 hours ago
An IRS 1040 form, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is shown on Thursday, April 5, 2018, in New Yo...

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides free income tax prep assistance in Arizona

One taxpayer assistance option available is the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, which is providing free tax assistance and preparation in Arizona.
10 hours ago
(Arizona Game and Fish Department Photo)...
Alex Weiner

Sonoran pronghorn population in Arizona makes leaps after AZGFD partnership with Mexico

The Sonoran pronghorn native to Arizona was on the cusp of extinction in the United States with 21 individuals in the wild in 2002.
10 hours ago
(Jim Poulin/Phoenix Business Journal)...
Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Radix Law partner helps launch ride-share carts in Scottsdale ahead of Super Bowl LVII

In a matter of weeks, those looking for a ride will be able to call for one through a mobile app to take them through Scottsdale's entertainment district at no charge.
10 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Shooting in central Phoenix leaves 1 dead, 2 others injured on Saturday

Phoenix police are searching for a suspect in a shooting that left one man dead and two others injured on Saturday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Counsel hired for ethics probes into Arizona lawmaker accused of affair