Arizona AG Mayes investigating county officials who refused to certify 2022 election
Nov 1, 2023, 6:18 AM
(Facebook Photo/Cochise County - Government)
BISBEE, Ariz. (AP) — Two Cochise County officials who refused to certify the midterm election results are now the subject of an investigation by the Arizona attorney general.
County supervisors Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby, both Republicans, told The Associated Press on Tuesday they received subpoenas last week to appear before a grand jury.
The subpoenas were first reported by nonprofit news organization Votebeat.
The two-page subpoena from Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, does not mention why they are being summoned.
“I could only guess,” Crosby said when reached by phone. “But why ask when you can ask the attorney general.”
Judd said she was shocked to get subpoenaed almost a year after the election. She is only guessing that it has to do with election integrity and last year’s effort to push for a hand count of all ballots. But they ultimately followed the law.
“I don’t feel like I broke a law. But, obviously the courts had different feelings,” Judd said when reached by phone.
Richie Taylor, a spokesperson for the Arizona attorney general, said the office cannot legally comment on grand jury proceedings.
Both supervisors are currently looking for attorneys because Cochise County does not provide representation for criminal matters. They have not spoken to each other about the subpoenas.
They must appear Nov. 13 in a courtroom in Phoenix.
Supervisor Ann English, the only Democrat on the three-member board, was not subpoenaed. She said she briefly spoke with an investigator from Mayes’ office. But, they did not talk at length about election issues.
In December 2022, the rural county certified election results only after a judge ruled Crosby and Judd were breaking the law by refusing to sign off on the vote count by the deadline.
They weren’t satisfied that the machines used to tabulate ballots were properly certified for use in elections, though state and federal election officials said they were. This prompted lawsuits including one from then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat.
The board members represented themselves in court after struggling to find someone willing to represent them. The elected county attorney, who normally represents the board in legal disputes, refused to handle the cases, saying the supervisors acted illegally.
Judd has no regrets about her actions last year and is prepared to defend herself.
“The grand jury will do what they do and I’ve heard that’s not the end of it once they make a decision,” Judd said. “I’ve never been a criminal in my life and I don’t intend to be this time either.”