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

File photo of a Phoenix crime scene. A 17-year-old boy was shot and killed in Phoenix on Tuesday, N...

Police searching for suspect after 17-year-old boy fatally shot in south Phoenix

Police are searching for a suspect after a 17-year-old boy was shot and killed at a south Phoenix apartment complex Tuesday night, authorities said.

24 minutes ago

Sebastian Maniscalco performs on stage...

Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco to stop in Phoenix on ‘It Ain’t Right Tour’ next year

Stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco announced a stop on his tour next year in Phoenix.

1 hour ago

Two people are dead after an apparent murder-suicide in Glendale on Tuesday night, Nov. 28, 2023....

Couple’s children were home at time of murder-suicide in Glendale

Two people are dead after a murder-suicide in Glendale on Tuesday. The couple's children were home when their mother was shot.

2 hours ago

Phoenix-based caterer M Culinary Concepts is looking to hire more than 300 hospitality professional...

Damon Allred

M Culinary Concepts hiring hundreds ahead of Valley event season

Arizona-based caterer M Culinary Concepts will hire over 300 hospitality professionals ahead of upcoming events in the Valley.

3 hours ago

patrol vehicle in San Tan Valley nieghborhood...

Teen fatally shot in San Tan Valley neighborhood; 17-year-old suspect arrested

A suspect is in custody after a teenager was fatally shot in a San Tan Valley neighborhood Tuesday night, authorities said.

5 hours ago

Hilton Family Holocaust Education Center, Phoenix...

Balin Overstolz McNair

1st permanent Holocaust museum to be built in Phoenix

The Arizona Jewish Historical Society on Tuesday announced plans to build the first permanent Holocaust education center in Phoenix.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Dierdre Woodruff

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.

Counsel hired for ethics probes into Arizona lawmaker accused of affair