In a major escalation in the fight over Arizona’s Maricopa County’s refusal to comply with a Senate election audit subpoena, the state attorney general’s office ordered the county to give in or lose its state funding, which provides nearly a third of the county’s budget.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said that the county, America’s fourth largest in population, is violating state law by not complying with the Senate’s request for routers in its 2020 election audit and review of former President Donald Trump’s loss.
In his ruling shared with Secrets, Brnovich said, “Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is in violation of state law for failing to comply with the Arizona Senate’s legislative subpoena related to the 2020 election audit. If MCBOS does not change course, the AGO will notify the Arizona Treasurer to withhold Maricopa County’s state-shared funds as required under the law.”
According to county and state estimates, the state provides about $700 million a year to the county, over a quarter of its $2.7 billion budget.
Brnovich’s investigation of the county’s actions began earlier this month.
In a statement, Brnovich added, “We are notifying the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors that it must fully comply with the Senate’s subpoena as required by the law. Our courts have spoken. The rule of law must be followed.”
The state, which Biden won by just 10,457 votes, has been ground zero for the national election audit effort.
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen have pressed the county and Dominion Voting Systems to produce routers, traffic logs, mail-in ballot envelopes, and other information in their investigation. The county has refused.
Brnovich, a leading GOP Senate candidate, gave the county 30 days to comply.
He and state courts have repeatedly backed the state Senate’s subpoena powers.
The memo detailed the issue this way: Today’s decision stems from a ‘SB 1487’ complaint filed by Senator Sonny Borrelli under A.R.S. § 41-194.01, which authorizes any legislator to request the Attorney General investigate a county or city alleged to be in violation of state law. On July 26, 2021, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Senator Warren Petersen (Senators) issued a subpoena to MCBOS related to the Senate’s audit of the 2020 election. The Senators requested six categories of items for production by August 2, 2021, including routers, plunk, and network logs.
MCBOS objected to the requested information, and to date, has not provided all of the subpoenaed materials. Moreover, in its response to the AGO, MCBOS failed to explain why it is not required to comply with the legislative subpoena. Its only response was that the Arizona Senate is not currently in session, so MCBOS could not be held in contempt.
If MCBOS fails to resolve the violation within 30 days, the AGO, in accordance with state law, will notify the Arizona Treasurer to withhold state revenue from Maricopa County until MCBOS complies.
Meanwhile, Brnovich said on a related issue that he has not seen any results from the Senate’s audit of the election. “The Arizona Audit of the 2020 election is still underway. At this time, the AGO has not received any report related to the Senate’s audit, but stands ready to review the official findings and any information submitted after a final report is completed by the Senate,” said the memo.