Maricopa County’s Stephen Richer: ‘We now have a judgment saying that Kari Lake lied about me’

Mar 27, 2024, 8:24 AM | Updated: 9:05 am

PHOENIX – Does Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer feel vindicated after Kari Lake requested a default judgment in his defamation lawsuit against her?

“Absolutely,” Richer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Wednesday. “We now have a judgment saying that Kari Lake lied about me, lied to the world, lied to Arizona, lied about the 2022 election. And so that will be entered in a court of law, and now we’ll move on to assess just how much it damaged me, and we’re going to say it damaged me a lot.”

Richer sued Lake in June 2023 over her repeated false and harmful statements about his work on the 2022 election. Lake, who is running for U.S. Senate this year, was the Republican nominee for governor in 2022 and lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Why did Kari Lake request a default judgment in defamation lawsuit?

A judge rejected Lake’s bid to dismiss the suit in December. Truth is a defense against a defamation claim, but rather than going to trial to present evidence that might support her allegations against Richer, Lake requested the default judgment Tuesday, asking for a jury to decide damages in the case.

A Lake official issued the following statement to KTAR News on Tuesday: “Kari maintains she has always been truthful. She will not play the lawfare game. Just like they went after President Trump, they’re now targeting Kari Lake. She will continue to fight for Arizonans.”

Stephen Richer questions Kari Lake’s legal strategy

Richer said he has no problem with Lake comparing herself to the former president in this situation.

“She keeps saying that this is like the Fox News case, or this is like Rudy Giuliani’s case, or this is like Donald Trump’s case,” he said. “Well, all of those wound up being north of $50 million, so we’re fine with those comparisons.”

Richer, who is an attorney, said he doesn’t understand Lake’s legal and political strategy.

“I would have counseled her long ago to stop lying, so I don’t have any great insight into her mind. … I don’t know why she does this, but her political calculations haven’t figured into what we’re doing, which is putting an end to these defamatory remarks and starting the process to clear my good name and to correct the record on the 2022 election,” he said.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management)...

Romero, Circle fires threatening land near Kearny in rural Arizona

Crews are working toward containment on two large fires threatening farm land in rural Arizona near Kearny, officials said Sunday.

25 minutes ago

People in the Valley are without power after weekend outages...

Power mostly restored across metro Phoenix morning after storms rolled through

Over 200 people in the Valley went without power early Monday morning, according to the Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service.

2 hours ago

Hemisphere GNSS Inc agreed to settle false claims allegations...

Payne Moses

Arizona GPS company agrees to pay $2.6M to settle false claims allegations

Hemisphere GNSS Inc., an Arizona satellite GPS manufacturer, agreed to pay $2.6M to settle false claims allegations.

4 hours ago

Etta restaurant in Scottsdale to close temporarily after sale...

Scottsdale restaurant to close temporarily after sale

Etta, the Italian-inspired neighborhood restaurant in Scottsdale Quarter, is temporarily closing for renovations beginning Monday.

4 hours ago

Judge serving justice in court...

Phoenix man convicted of assaulting officer, human smuggling south of Tucson

A 55-year-old Phoenix man was convicted of crimes related to the assault of a federal officer and human smuggling last week.

4 hours ago

Interior of Picklemall, at the Arizona Mills shopping mall in Tempe, which is closing down....

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Picklemall exec opens up about abrupt closing of 16-court facility in Tempe

Less than a year after opening in the Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe, a pickleball concept is closing its doors.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

Maricopa County’s Stephen Richer: ‘We now have a judgment saying that Kari Lake lied about me’