Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County filed for sanctions Monday against Republican Kari Lake, less than 48 hours after a judge ruled against Lake's efforts to have herself declared the winner of Arizona's governor race.
Hobbs and the county asked for sanctions against Lake and her legal team after an Arizona judge denied Lake's bid to reverse the results of the November election in a two-day trial. Lake, a prominent election denier and Trump ally, was allowed to go to trial last week with two of her 10 claims, which alleged misconduct with ballot printers and problems with ballot chain of custody.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson denied Lake’s challenge after the trial in a 10-page ruling Saturday. He said the court did not find clear and convincing evidence of misconduct that would have changed the election results. Thompson also noted that the defendants had stated their intention to seek sanctions against Lake and ordered them to file a motion for sanctions by Monday morning.
Attorneys for Hobbs, who has been Arizona's secretary of state for four years, joined the county in its filing Monday seeking $25,050 from Lake, which includes attorney fees for Hobbs and the state’s most populous county. The county took aim at Lake’s remarks before the election indicating she would not accept the results unless she won, as well as her “groundless” and “frivolous” lawsuit after the election was certified.
“Before a single vote was counted in the 2022 general election, Kari Lake publicly stated that she would accept the results of the gubernatorial election only if she were the winning candidate,” the county said in the filing.
“But she has not simply failed to publicly acknowledge the election results. Instead, she filed a groundless, seventy-page election contest lawsuit against the Governor-Elect, the Secretary of State, and Maricopa County and several of its elected officials and employees (but no other county or its employees), thereby dragging them and this Court into this frivolous pursuit.”
The county added that the courts “should not be used to harass political opponents and sow completely unfounded doubts about the integrity of elections.”
“Enough really is enough,” the county said. “It is past time to end unfounded attacks on elections and unwarranted accusations against elections officials. This matter was brought without any legitimate justification, let alone a substantial one.”
NBC News has asked Lake for comment.