Adrian Fontes calls election investigation ‘political stunt’ after talking to AG’s Office

Nov 1, 2021, 2:30 PM
Adrian Fontes, left, and Mark Brnovich (Facebook Photos)...
Adrian Fontes, left, and Mark Brnovich (Facebook Photos)
(Facebook Photos)

PHOENIX – Former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said he was interviewed by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office last week about the 2020 election and called the investigation “a political stunt.”

Fontes, a Democratic candidate for secretary of state, questioned the motives of Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican running for U.S. Senate, after talking to a special agent from Brnovich’s office.

“What became clear to me after engaging with the office of Attorney General Brnovich is that this is merely a political stunt intended to benefit Brnovich’s 2022 Senate race by inflaming the delusions of conspiracy theorists,” Fontes said Monday in a statement about the interview, which he said was voluntary and took place Thursday.

“This is not a genuine effort to investigate the election process of 2020, which has already been picked apart and scrutinized relentlessly.”

When asked for a response, a spokeswoman for the AG’s Office told KTAR News 92.3 FM, “We cannot comment on any specifics of an ongoing investigation.”

Fontes was recorder in Arizona’s largest county during the November election in which he lost his seat to Republican Stephen Richer. The Recorder’s Office maintains voter files and partners with the Maricopa County Elections Department on elections operations.

“I proudly stand by the entire Maricopa County 2020 and the county’s current election teams. We are all Americans first, and we have continued to put country over party,” Fontes said.

In September, after Arizona Senate contractors led by Cyber Ninjas released findings from their audit of the 2020 Maricopa County election, Brnovich said his office’s Elections Integrity Unit would review the evidence and determine what, if any, actions to take.

The audit report noted what the contractors called anomalies, which county officials have attributed to Cyber Ninjas’ lack of expertise and haphazard procedures. A hand recount of the approximately 2.1 million ballots cast, one part of the review, affirmed President Joe Biden’s narrow victory with numbers close to the ones certified by state officials, including Brnovich and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.

As part of its investigation, the Elections Integrity Unit has asked the state Senate for supporting documents from the contractors’ report and asked Maricopa County officials to put a “litigation hold” on a slew of items related to the last year’s election.

After the report was released Sept. 24, Senate President Karen Fann said she had concerns about “several items” and was forwarding the findings to Brnovich’s office.

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Adrian Fontes calls election investigation ‘political stunt’ after talking to AG’s Office