ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Senate settles lawsuit over election audit for $150,000

Apr 19, 2023, 8:25 PM

(AP Photo/Matt York, Pool File)...

(AP Photo/Matt York, Pool File)

(AP Photo/Matt York, Pool File)

PHOENIX (AP) — A left-leaning watchdog group on Wednesday announced a settlement of over $150,000 in a public records lawsuit against the Arizona Senate, which fought to withhold emails, texts and other records involving a partisan audit of the 2020 election.

American Oversight, which promotes government transparency, will receive $153,000 from the state Senate. According to the agreement that both parties initially signed in March, they will mutually release each other from legal claims. The agreement also specifies that the settlement is not an indication of any wrongdoing.

The litigation also extended to Cyber Ninjas, the now defunct Florida-based firm that led the Senate’s review of ballot counting machines, computers and ballots in Maricopa County.

Shortly before the settlement agreement was signed, lawyers for The Arizona Republic argued that some of the records being withheld by the Senate should still be made publicly available.

The whole ordeal was worthwhile for “having succeeded in bringing much-needed transparency” to the audit, American Oversight said in a statement.

Kory Langhofer, an attorney for the Senate, did not immediately return a voice message seeking comment.

In 2021, the Republican-led Senate initiated a review after Joe Biden was declared the winner in Arizona over then-President Donald Trump, triggering unfounded accusations of fraud and other election conspiracies.

American Oversight filed a lawsuit shortly after.

Between various lawsuits and court orders, the Senate released more than 20,000 records. But lawmakers also held onto some documents, justifying it as legislative privilege.

The Arizona Supreme Court in August sided with the Senate, ruling that emails and other documented communications were privileged.

The Senate review found no evidence of widespread fraud in Maricopa County’s elections operations.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Arizona Governor's Office photo/via YouTube)...

Serena O'Sullivan

Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoes GOP-backed bill on border crossing, says it’s a political ploy

Gov. Katie Hobbs' vetoed Senate Bill 1231, a GOP-backed border crossing bill, according to a Monday announcement.

5 hours ago

Image shows xeriscape in front of Arizona home....

KTAR.com

City of Chandler begins 3-year process of converting grass to xeriscape

The Chandler City Council recently greenlit a three-year initiative to convert patches of grass to xeriscape, a landscape approach designed to conserve water.

6 hours ago

Split panel image showing the members of Slightly Stupid across the top and Dirty Heads across the ...

Kevin Stone

Dirty Heads, Slightly Stoopid to wrap up Slightly Dirty Summer Tour in Phoenix

Alt-reggae comrades Dirty Heads and Slightly Stoopid are teaming up in 2024 on the appropriately titled Slightly Dirty Summer Tour, which wraps up in Phoenix.

10 hours ago

This month's KTAR’s community spotlight shines on Helios Education Foundation and its mission to ...

KTAR.com

Helios Education Foundation aims to accelerate progress in early literacy across Arizona

This month's KTAR’s community spotlight shines on Helios Education Foundation and its mission to accelerate progress in early literacy across Arizona.

11 hours ago

Saul Ballardo was sentenced to 26 years in prison after he shot at officers in the West Valley. (Ma...

KTAR.com

West Valley man sentenced to 26 years in prison for targeted shootings at law enforcement

A West Valley man was sentenced to 26 years in prison after he shot at multiple members of law enforcement, authorities announced Monday.

12 hours ago

side by side of Robert Robbins and crowds of people....

SuElen Rivera

UArizona President Robert Robbins to take pay cut amid budget crisis

After leadership changes, the newly elected chair of the state university's governing board plans to cut the salary of UArizona's president.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Arizona Senate settles lawsuit over election audit for $150,000