A judge in Maricopa County, Arizona last Friday declined to award sanctions sought by lawyers representing the county against failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and her legal team after a trial once again affirmed that Governor Katie Hobbs won the November election, AZCentral reported.
After Lake lost her latest court battle last Monday, lawyers for Maricopa County filed a sanctions request arguing that the assertion by Lake’s legal team that the November election was rigged was “profoundly harmful” and “heinous.” They noted that even one of Lake’s witnesses disproved the plaintiff’s contention that Maricopa County failed to conduct signature verification of the ballots.
However, in his decision last Friday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled that while Lake failed to prove her claim through clear and convincing evidence, that does not mean her claim was “groundless” or “not made in good faith.”
In his ruling, Thompson also confirmed that the evidence Lake’s team presented did not prove misconduct by county election officials or that any misconduct would have impacted the outcome of the election “by a competent mathematical basis.”
Tom Liddy, the chief of the civil division in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said he believed that the sanctions requested in the case were appropriate and the evidence that Lake’s team made false assertions was clear.
Last Monday’s court loss was the second time Judge Thompson rejected Lake’s claims of malfeasance by county election officials. In December, he ruled against Lake, saying that while the election system may not be “perfect,” it was “more than sufficient to comply with the law and conduct a valid election.”
Lake appealed the decision to the Arizona Supreme Court, which rejected most of her appeal and returned the case to Judge Thompson to give Lake a second chance to prove her claim that the signature verification was conducted illegally.
Lawyers for Maricopa County requested the financial sanctions to publicly reprimand Lake’s team for making false claims or “misrepresentations” in the two months following the state Supreme Court sending the case back to Judge Thompson.