Arizona’s Supreme Court Thursday ordered former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s lawyer to pay a $2,000 fine to the court clerk for repeated false statements related to last year’s election. File Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE
May 4 (UPI) — Arizona’s Supreme Court Thursday ordered former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s lawyers to pay a $2,000 fine to the court clerk for repeated false statements related to last year’s election.
Chief Justice Robert Brutinel signed Thursday’s order, requiring Lake’s legal team to pay the fine for claiming 35,563 ballots were wrongly added to the vote count in Maricopa County and calling the claim an “undisputed fact.”
Brutinel declined to award legal fees to attorneys for Gov. Katie Hobbs, D-Ariz., and Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes. Both officials called for sanctions against Lake because of her lawsuit filed last year challenging the results of the election.
Lake, who was backed by former president Donald Trump, lost her gubernatorial bid against Hobbs. In the lawsuit, she claims the “number of illegal votes cast … far exceeds the 17,117-vote margin” between her and Hobbs.
Lake, a former TV news anchor in Phoenix, contends the more than 35,000 votes were “injected” into the final tally by a third party.
Hobbs, Fontes, Maricopa County and ballot processor Runbeck Election Services all call the claims frivolous.
Lake’s lawsuit was originally dismissed. An appeal was also dismissed before Lake further appealed to the state’s Supreme Court, which then dismissed all but one of the claims which remains under litigation.
“Not only is that allegation strongly disputed by the other parties, this Court concluded and expressly stated that the assertion was unsupported by the record, and nothing in Lake’s Motion for Leave to file a motion for reconsideration provides reason to revisit that issue,” Thursday’s court order reads.
“Although Lake may have permissibly argued that an inference could be made that some ballots were added, there is no evidence that 35,563 ballots were and, more to the point here, this was certainly disputed by the Respondents. The representation that this was an ‘undisputed fact’ is therefore unequivocally false.”