Arizona Democrats file complaint against Rep. Liz Harris after bribery allegations

Mar 7, 2023, 4:35 AM
(Photo by Joe Sohm/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Joe Sohm/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sohm/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona House Democrats moved to censure Republican Rep. Liz Harris on Monday after her invited guest accused elected officials — including Gov. Katie Hobbs and House Speaker Ben Toma — of taking bribes from a Mexican drug cartel at a joint elections committee hearing on Feb. 23.

Republicans moved to recess after the motion, avoiding a vote. Democratic Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton filed an ethics complaint against Harris, saying she engaged in disorderly conduct.

“Eleven days ago, Representative Liz Harris invited a guest to speak at a joint Elections Committee hearing,” Stahl Hamilton said in a press release. “Her star witness used our institution and platform to level — and put into the record — vile smears of laundering money for the Sinaloa Drug Cartel against dozens of sitting judges, elected officials and the entire Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“The damage can’t be undone, but there should be some accountability while it’s still spreading and compounding.”

The complaint called the presentation by Scottsdale realtor Jaqueline Breger delusional and having used a joint session as a platform to spread misinformation.

Stahl Hamilton said a coordinated email campaign by “hundreds” of election deniers has threatened her and other legislators if action is taken against Harris.

“I request that the ethics committee immediately convene and investigate Representative Harris’ actions related to the defamatory testimony in the joint elections committee,” Stahl Hamilton said in the complaint.

Toma — a Republican — said in a statement after the hearing that the presentation was “disgraceful fringe theater” and a show of “bad judgment.” Republican Senate President Warren Peterson said in a statement that the hearing was not the place to make such allegations.

Harris was elected in November.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona Democrats file complaint against Rep. Liz Harris after bribery allegations