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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Police investigate Phoenix hit-and-run that left pedestrian dead

Police are investigating a Phoenix hit-and-run after a pedestrian crossing the street was killed on Sunday evening.
1 day ago
Katie Hobbs, the Democratic governor-elect and current secretary of state, signs the official certi...

Arizona Sec. of State Hobbs requests recount of 3 election races

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs requested on Monday evening a recount of three general election races.
1 day ago
(File Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Fugitive since 2013 arrested in Mexico, extradited to Arizona

The FBI says a fugitive wanted for his involvement in a criminal drug enterprise has been extradited from Mexico and returned to Tucson.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Morgan Wallen)...

Country artist Morgan Wallen to perform next year at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix

Country artist Morgan Wallen announced last week an upcoming stop in the Valley for his 2023 world tour.
1 day ago
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Ron Wolfley expects Patriots to corner Kyler Murray, run the ball against Cardinals

Cardinals radio personality and Arizona Sports host Ron Wolfley has ideas on how the Patriots will play the Cardinals next Monday.
1 day ago
Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, left, signs the official Arizona general elect...
Kevin Stone

Arizona certifies 2022 election, setting stage for lawsuits, recounts

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs certified the state's 2022 general election Monday, but it doesn’t close the books on the midterms.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
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