Retired Supreme Court Justice Testifies For Oversight Committee On Proper Role Of Arizona Attorney General

Arizona Supreme Court Justice (retired) Andrew Gould

The House Ad Hoc Committee on Executive Oversight heard from retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew Gould at its first public meeting on Thursday.

Gould, a distinguished former prosecutor, was invited to appear before the Committee to outline the constitutional and statutory responsibilities of the Arizona Attorney General, including the duty to defend state laws. Justice Gould also explained that, unlike other states where Attorney Generals have common law authority, Arizona’s Attorney General’s authority is limited by statute.

Committee Chairwoman Jacqueline Parker affirmed the Committee’s commitment to uphold the highest standards of legislative oversight and professionalism.

In contrast, say Republicans, Committee Democrats put on a “disappointing display of partisanship by refusing to attend the meeting and to constructively engage.”

Additionally, the committee reviewed outstanding public records requests it has directed at Attorney General Mayes, addressing two serious allegations. The first records request concerns the legal proceedings in State v. Cochise County—a lawsuit General Mayes lost last year. Chairwoman Parker expressed alarm at the judge’s comments during a hearing that criticized General Mayes for using her court filings to launch an irrelevant, partisan attack on elected county officials. The second records request addresses the Attorney General’s recent unfounded attacks on the agricultural industry, her threats to file a public nuisance lawsuit against Arizona’s farmers, and her use of public town hall events and resources to make campaign speeches.

“We have given General Mayes a standing invitation to speak to the Committee,” said CEO Chairwoman Parker. “I’m puzzled she decided, instead, to hold a press conference at the Capitol while we were voting on bills and before the Committee even convened to hear from retired Justice Gould about basic statutory functions of the Attorney General’s Office. General Mayes should apologize to Mr. Gould for her unwarranted, disparaging comments. He made perfectly clear at the hearing that the Committee solicited his testimony as a legal expert and refrained from opining on any of the questionable actions General Mayes has taken while in office. Mr. Gould spent his entire career serving the people of Arizona as a prosecutor and jurist on the State Supreme Court. Arizonans deserve more from their chief legal officer.”

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  1. The democrats have chosen to defy the law, promote violence, attack any business they don’t consider “green”, denigrate anybody with morals, ethics and values. Why would anybody expect AG Mayes to do anything different? There will not be any significant repercussions. Although there are more remedies, bluster is the republicans’ only weapon of choice.

  2. I think democrat voters should realize that when they elect someone to represent them in Arizona’s state legislature they had better get confirmation that the person WILL participate and carry out their duties while they represent Arizonans. The processes don’t work for the voters if the elected officials hijack the intentions of the office they hold. Voters from all parties should pay attention more closely to the actions and activities of their elected officials. Actions speak louder than words. AG Mayes is way too defensive which raises red flags. This committee appears to be conducting oversight of the AG’s office looking for transparency as expected by the rest of us. So if it’s partisanship or disruption of government these officials intend, the voters should make better choices.

  3. I think that the Attorney General for AZ would find her proper place if there was a honest election.

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