Arizona group steps up recall effort for Maricopa County Board of Supervisors members

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the courtyard outside the Arizona State Capitol last Wednesday, demanding that some members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors be recalled. The effort was led by a group called We the People AZ Alliance.

The Maricopa County Recorder’s office told reporters they received a letter of intent from the group announcing their plans to start gathering signatures to recall Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, supervisors Steve Gallardo, Bill Gates and Jack Sellers.

County officials say the recall will not be official until the group can gather between 50 to 100 thousand signatures per district. The number of signatures needed may vary depending on the number of voters.

If successful, officials say each supervisor would either have five days to decide if they want to resign from their position or issue a statement to be included on the ballot for the recall election.

Last Wednesday, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed an opinion with the court arguing the state legislature can investigate Maricopa County’s elections process.

That decision will still need to be made by a judge.

Four of five supervisors voted not to respond to subpoenas issued by some GOP members of the Arizona legislature demanding access to voting machines, copies of all mail ballots and other materials from the presidential election for a full forensic audit.

The supervisors filed a lawsuit within the Maricopa County Superior Court system to determine whether or not they had to respond to the subpoenas.

Superior Court Judge Randall Warner said the lawmakers did not follow the appropriate procedures to enforce a legislative subpoena, but he invited them to refile their case.

Outgoing Maricopa County Treasurer Royce Flora resigned last Thursday, citing a “toxic environment” in county government.

Flora, who has been treasurer since 2016, left on January 1st. He was scheduled to leave office in mid-January, but said that he was unable to complete his term in part because “the political environment at the county has become so toxic I have no desire to endure further abuse.”

He wanted to assist in the recall effort but said it would be inappropriate while serving as county treasurer.

“I intend to participate in the recall of the Maricopa County board of supervisors which puts me in direct conflict with County government. For these and other reasons, I resign my office of Maricopa County Treasurer effective on the statutorily prescribed date of midnight, December 31st, 2020,” Flora said in a letter to Hickman.

Flora’s chief deputy, Russell Pearce, also retired effective Dec. 27, deputy county treasurer Ron Bellus said.

Maricopa County officials released a statement on December 18 after the court ruling:

“Board members believe the 2020 General Election is over. The results have been certified. Maricopa County’s process throughout was transparent and the results produced were accurate. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will continue to provide secure elections and will not allow false allegations driven by conjecture to deviate the Board from that mission.”

“We the People” called the board’s decision “deceptive political maneuvering” in a statement released last week.