Maricopa County Recorder Richer files defamation lawsuit against Kari Lake over election claims

Jun 22, 2023, 5:49 PM

(AP Photos)...

(AP Photos)

(AP Photos)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer filed a defamation lawsuit against Kari Lake on Thursday, saying election claims made by the former gubernatorial candidate have changed his life for the worst.

“I firmly believe in the protections afforded to all of us under the First Amendment, but when people harm their fellow citizens through defamation, they should be held accountable,” Richer said in a statement to KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“In America, no one is above the law, and I am standing up for that principle and seeking justice for what my family and I have been put through.”


Richer, who filed the suit as a private citizen, alleged that Lake, her campaign and a fundraising entity she controls, made false statements about the 2022 election “to further their own agendas — and line their own pockets — at Richer’s expense.”

Democrat Katie Hobbs defeated Lake in the November 2022 election, a result the Republican and former local TV news anchor disputed legally and on social media.

cv2023-009417 by Danny Shapiro on Scribd

Lake filed several lawsuits challenging the results, all of which have been struck down by courts.

The lawsuit also says Lake used social media to make defamatory statements against Richer, the recorder in Arizona’s most populous county.

“While I followed the law and respected the will of millions of Arizona voters after the 2022 election, the defendants chose to engage in a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation, threaten my livelihood, and rob me and my loved ones of our safety and well-being,” Richer said.

Richer, also a Republican, said he filed the lawsuit to stop Lake from spreading the rhetoric regarding himself and the election results.

Lake hadn’t formally responded to the lawsuit as of Thursday evening, although an account affiliated with her tweeted the First Amendment after news of the legal action became public.

“For the last seven months, I have been subjected to constant harassment, intimidation, and threats to me and my family’s lives because the defendants in this case were spreading falsehoods about me, my work, and our elections,” Richer said.

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Maricopa County Recorder Richer files defamation lawsuit against Kari Lake over election claims