Arizona House ethics panel tables complaint against Democratic lawmaker

May 6, 2022, 9:41 AM | Updated: 9:47 am

Arizona state Rep. Robert Meza (Arizona Legislature and KTAR News Photos)...

Arizona state Rep. Robert Meza (Arizona Legislature and KTAR News Photos)

(Arizona Legislature and KTAR News Photos)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona House Ethics Committee on Thursday voted to take no action on a complaint against Democratic Rep. Robert Meza, with the committee chairman saying the allegations fell outside the panel’s ability to investigate.

Republican Rep. Travis Grantham said the complaint against Meza filed last month by Scottsdale resident Phillip Potter should be tabled indefinitely, and the committee agreed on a 4-1 vote.

Meza’s lawyer, Tim Nelson, said Monday that Potter’s complaint, which alleged a long-running fraud scheme operated by the Phoenix lawmaker, was false and part of an ongoing effort by Potter to get back at anyone who has had anything to do with his ex-wife.

Potter has filed numerous lawsuits in recent years, and court records show most were thrown out as unsupported. A judge threatened to seek to have him named a “vexatious litigant” for filing meritless lawsuits.

One of those lawsuits filed last year named his former wife, Meza and more than a dozen other people and accused them of conspiring to support an order of protection she obtained against him. It also recounted the same corruption allegations against Meza contained in the ethics complaint. The case against the ex-wife and Meza was dismissed.

Potter previously gave the material in the ethics complaint to the FBI, but Nelson said they took no action.

Grantham said the House panel was the wrong forum for Potter’s complaints.

“We’re not a prosecutorial arm of government, and I don’t anticipate us becoming one,” Grantham said. “If Mr. Potter believes that he has evidence that Mr. Meza has engaged in criminal wrongdoing, it is to a law enforcement agency that Mr. Potter should take that evidence,” Grantham said.

Republican Rep. Jacqueline Parker of Mesa was the lone dissenter.

“Some of the complaints do seem serious and in violation of our House rules,” Parker said. “I think they could merit some investigation.”

But Grantham said the House rule violations contained in Potter’s lengthy complaint were not made toward Meza but to people outside the Legislature who are not even state employees.

“A House ethics committee exists solely for that purpose, to deal with violations of rules against one another, internal to this body,” Grantham said.

Potter also filed a complaint accusing Democratic state Sen. Lisa Otondo of helping Meza cover up the alleged schemes. The Senate’s ethics panel voted Monday to wait until its House counterpart decided how to handle Meza’s case before proceeding.

Senate Ethics Committee chair Sen. Sine Kerr said Thursday the complaint against Otondo will remain inactive unless the House panel decides to revive the one against Meza.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Pixabay photo)...

4 Valley residents sentenced to prison for COVID aid fraud

Four Valley residents have been sentenced for their roles in a COVID aid fraud scheme, authorities announced Thursday.

18 hours ago

(Getty Images Photos)...

Arizona’s Sinema says she was happy to play liaison role on debt ceiling negotiations

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona said Thursday her role in helping push forward negotiations on lifting the nation's debt ceiling was to be a liaison, a position she was happy to fill.

18 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Taylor Kinnerup and Kate Ourada

Arizona’s News Roundup: Canal killer death sentence, Phoenix PD rolls out crime reduction plan

Arizona's News Roundup this week covered the canal killer's death sentence and Phoenix Police's new crime reduction plan.

18 hours ago

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)...

MCSO’s Penzone expects scanner program at jails to be implemented within weeks

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said a scanner program that will detect for drugs and other contraband going in and out of jails will be up and running within weeks.

18 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Axis for Autism)...

SuElen Rivera

Autism evaluation, therapy clinic opens first East Valley location

A clinic offering autism diagnostic services and ABA therapy is expanding its presence in the Valley with the opening of a new clinic in Gilbert.

18 hours ago

Wreckage after BNSF freight train carrying new vehicles derailed overnight in Coconino County, Ariz...

Freight train carrying new vehicles derails in northern Arizona

Nobody was injured when a freight train carrying new vehicles derailed in northern Arizona overnight, officials said Thursday.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Arizona House ethics panel tables complaint against Democratic lawmaker