Ballot harvester, Benjamin Marin and Citizens for a Better Arizona’s lawsuit against A. J. La Faro, Immediate Past Chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, has been dismissed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Douglas Gerlach.
Judge Gerlach indicated in his ruling on the civil lawsuit that, “No purpose is to be served by prolonging this litigation and submitting the case to a jury.” Judge Gerlach said “La Faro is granted summary judgment in his favor against plaintiff Benjamin Marin. The claims asserted by Marin against La Faro are dismissed.” Judge Gerlach went on to say “La Faro is granted summary judgment in his favor and against plaintiff Citizens for a Better Arizona. Nothing submitted in opposition to La Faro’s motion represented an attempt on Citizen’s behalf to avoid summary judgment. The claims asserted by Citizens for a Better Arizona against La Faro are dismissed.”
La Faro, a colorful and popular figure in Arizona politics first exposed Marin’s ballot harvesting during the August 26, 2014 Primary election cycle, when in his capacity as the official representative for the Republican Party.
LaFaro says he worked to “protect our elections and the integrity of the vote.”
On August 25, LaFaro was working with the Maricopa County Elections Staff observing early ballot processing when he heard a loud thud and turned to see what was going on. “A person wearing a Citizens for a Better Arizona (CBA) t-shirt dropped a large box of hundreds of early ballots on the table and started stuffing the ballot box as I watched in amazement.”
For reporting what he saw, La Faro became a target of CBA and its attorneys. In November, La Faro’s attorney, Dennis Wilenchik, filed a Motion to Dismiss the defamation lawsuit that was filed against him, according to Wilenchik, “for actions he took to protect the integrity of the early balloting process in the General Election in November.”
When notified of the Court’s decision, La Faro said “I’m glad to hear that justice has prevailed and this frivolous lawsuit that had no basis or merit has been dismissed.” La Faro was overheard saying, “I am very fortunate having Dennis Wilenchik and his fantastic legal team representing me. Wilenchik & Bartness are recognized leaders in Arizona civil litigation and now I know why.”