Brnovich Refuses To Follow Law Requiring Investigation Of Maricopa County

mark brnovich
Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

When Arizona legislators ask the Attorney General’s Office to open what is known as a SB1487 investigation, the AG’s office has no choice but to do just that. State law is quite clear on that. So it came as a shock to State Senator Kelly Townsend when she made such a request and the Attorney General’s Office refused it.

Townsend had filed a SB1487 request for an investigation of the 2020 general election in Maricopa County with Attorney General Mark Brnovich this week, based largely on the findings of the recently completed audit. Brnovich responded that his office was already investigating the matter and that as a result, he was refusing her request.

Brnovich claimed that an SB1487 investigation is “an inappropriate vehicle” to allow the Office to “thoroughly investigate” issues raised in the Arizona Senate’s audit of the controversial election. He claimed that under SB1487, his office is only given 30 days to investigate and issue a report. He argued that since his office is already conducting an investigation at the request of Senate President Sen. Karen Fann launching an SB1487 investigation “could seriously and unnecessarily hamper the Office’s investigative process.”

Townsend is not happy and made it known on Twitter, “Here is the statute for the Legislators’ 1487 complaint to the AZ Attorney General. ‘Shall’ is not discretionary. ‘Investigate’ means go and embark on factual discovery. I don’t see a provision in there that allows him to say no, do you?”

According to Townsend, Brnovich’s offer to add her questions to the existing investigation is not acceptable.
“(My complaint) included multiple questions not raised by the Senate final audit report,” she tweeted. “They are separate Q’s that legally must be answered. I will not accept nonfeasance for an answer.”

“I am not looking to hamper the investigation,” Townsend told the Arizona Daily Independent. “What I want is answers to questions not raised by the audit. I want the issues on record, and I want assurance those issues will be addressed. The 1487 is the only way we know for sure we will get all of the answers. If I didn’t ask those questions, the public may not have known those concerns existed. What recourse, then, do we have when the AG says no to a legal statute?”

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