Sanctions Finchem over ‘baseless’ Arizona election lawsuit

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona judge has sanctioned former Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finkem and his lawyers for a lawsuit challenging his defeat in last year’s election, calling the lawsuit ” It was groundless and not brought up in good faith.”

Finchem’s lawsuit raised unsubstantiated allegations that his losses were marred by fraud and called for the results to be annulled and the election to be restarted. refused to make concessions to

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Julian dismissed Finchem’s lawsuit in December. Fontes and her then Secretary of State, now Governor Katie Hobbs, called on her to sanction Finchem for the hassle and expense of defending her against frivolous lawsuits.

Julian said dominate On March 1, Finchem said it would have to pay reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by Fontes’ campaign and the secretary of state now headed by Fontes. These costs have not been determined.

“Mr. Finkem and villains like him will not be allowed to evade accountability,” Fontes said in a statement. “He continues to stay out of a broken political agenda using fraudulent schemes to take advantage of Arizonans.”

Finchem did not respond to a request for comment. Attorney Daniel McCauley declined to comment.

Even if everything Finchem claimed in his lawsuit had been true, Julian wrote, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the election. Finchem lost by 120,000 votes.

Julian, former Republican nominee Doug Ducey, said at a hearing that more experienced election lawyers refused to take the case, but McCauley said he had little to lose as he was preparing to retire. pointed out the comment of That shows he knew the lawsuit had no merit, she wrote.

Finchem was a supporter of the lie that former President Donald Trump missed his 2020 re-election because of widespread fraud, repeatedly uncovered by courts, election experts and Trump’s own Attorney General. .

Most of the election naysayers who lost last year’s election admitted, but three prominent Arizona Republicans did not. Finkem, Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake, and Attorney General Candidate Abraham Hamade all filed unsuccessful lawsuits challenging their losses, refused to admit, and repeatedly said the courts would not cast doubt on the outcome. He continues to point out the accidents that have happened.

lake last week Appeal to Arizona Supreme Court After a state appeals court said her lawsuit challenging the election was based on “sheer speculation.”