AG Brnovich says Maricopa County must comply with audit subpoenas
PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Thursday threatened to withhold state funding if Maricopa County doesn’t turn over everything listed in the state Senate’s election audit subpoenas.
“We are notifying the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors that it must fully comply with the Senate’s subpoena as required by the law,” Brnovich, a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in 2022, said in a press release. “Our courts have spoken. The rule of law must be followed.”
The Attorney General’s Office said it will notify the state treasurer to withhold state revenue if the county doesn’t comply by Sept. 27.
“It is our understanding that Maricopa County could stand to lose more than $700 million a year in state-shared revenue,” AGO spokeswoman Katie Connor told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
County spokesman Fields Moseley said the Board of Supervisors will be meeting with lawyers to decide their next step.
Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel released a statement saying losing the state funding would be “catastrophic to public safety.”
“As the individual elected to keep the residents of Maricopa County safe and represent them in the criminal justice system, I can say that withholding state funds from Maricopa County would be catastrophic to public safety and my office’s ability to hold criminals accountable and protect the rights of crime victim,” she said.
“As the attorney for the County Board of Supervisors, I will not comment on the legal merits of the decision announced earlier today by the Arizona Attorney General.”
Brnovich’s announcement came in response to a request for legal review filed by Republican state Sen. Sonny Borrelli.
The AGO determined that the county is violating state law by not turning over all the materials, including routers and network logs, requested as part of the GOP-ordered audit into the 2020 election.
The Board of Supervisors has resisted turning over the routers, citing security concerns because they are used by multiple departments, including the sheriff’s office.
The AGO report in response to Borrelli’s request said it’s up to the Senate to decide what it needs.
“The supervisors may not like the audit, but they don’t get to pick and choose which Senate subpoenas they actually want to comply with,” Connor said.
The Senate and the Cyber Ninjas-led audit contractors it hired have contended that they need more material to complete every desired aspect of the long-running review of the 2020 general election in Arizona’s largest county.
A full draft was expected to be delivered to the Senate this week, but that was delayed because three of the five audit team members, including Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, were sick with COVID-19, Senate President Karen Fann said Monday.
The full report will be ready and available to the public after the remainder of the draft is submitted and the Senate’s legal team can review it, according to Fann.
The delay added more time to a controversial operation that has gone on for more than four months.
Republican lawmakers launched the audit April 23 despite the fact that the Board of Supervisors, which consists of four Republicans and one Democrat, previously authorized two audits by certified contractors that showed no irregularities.
In addition, courts in Arizona and other 2020 battleground states have rejected dozens of election suits as judges found no evidence to support claims of fraud.
The Maricopa County review included a hand count of ballots, the analysis of voter data and a review of ballot-counting machines. Only two races that Democrats won — president and U.S. Senate – were tallied in the recount.
County GOP officials and others have questioned the methods, competence and motives of Cyber Ninjas — concerns that U.S. House Oversight Committee is now looking into.
Fann has said the aim of the process is to restore faith in the election system and find ways to improve Arizona’s voting laws, not to reverse the result of the election.
However, many Trump supporters see it as a step toward invalidating Biden’s victory and returning Trump to office.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar and The Associated Press contributed to this report.