Arizona’s Democrat Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs wants GOP opponent Kari Lake and her legal team sanctioned for bringing a case contesting the 2022 election, which a state court judge dismissed Saturday.
“Enough is really enough,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in her Monday motion for sanctions and attorney fees against Lake and her legal team. “It is past time to end unfounded attacks on elections and unwarranted accusations against election officials. This matter was brought without any legitimate justification, let alone a substantial one. The Maricopa County defendants therefore ask this court to impose sanctions against plaintiff Kari Lake and her attorneys, Bryan Blehm and Kurt Olsen.”
On Saturday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson dismissed Lake’s legal challenge to the Nov. 8 general election where she lost the race for governor by around 17,000 votes.
In that dismissal, Thompson said the court found no evidence of violations to Arizona state election laws and other issues that would have impacted the results of the race, and then confirmed Hobbs’ gubernatorial victory.
He also ordered that any motions for sanctions and attorney fee demands be returned to the court by Monday morning and the Lake team response delivered by the afternoon.
The specific nature of what sanctions could be imposed were not disclosed in the court documents, but Maricopa County is demanding at least $25,000 for its attorney fees for the two-day trial, and possibly more if the judge grants them more time to compile the legal bills in the case.
Hobbs, who is currently secretary of state and presided over her own election and certified the official results earlier this month, said in her team’s sanction demand that Lake was using the lawsuit as a political maneuver and for fundraising without having any concrete issues regarding the election.
Among the arguments Lake and her team made, were concerns about some county voting locations having printer problems that may have caused some waiting to vote on election day to leave polling locations.
Other issues raised included the chain of custody of the ballots between polling locations and the county, as well as state constitutional violations.
“Courts are established by Arizona’s Constitution and statutes to resolve actual disputes between parties,” Mitchell’s motion reads. “They do not exist so that candidates for political office can attempt to make political statements and fundraise.”
The Lake team response to the demand was not available Monday night.
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