Sen. Bundgaard on fight with girlfriend: I should not be above the law

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by Alicia E. Barrón

azfamily.com

Posted on February 28, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 1 at 9:06 AM

PHOENIX – The Senate majority leader who had a weekend scuffle with his girlfriend that left him with a black eye says he should not be above the law.

Sen. Scott Bundgaard was not arrested following the domestic dispute because of a state law that gives legislators immunity, but his then-girlfriend, Aubrey Ballard, was.

The senator is clear that he told police officers he was a lawmaker but says he did that to let them know their handling of the case would probably draw extra scrutiny and not because he wanted to avoid being arrested.

“It was a bit of a challenging weekend,” Bundgaard said. “I’m sorry for anything we’ve put the public through and my colleagues through and family through.”

Bundgaard is still nursing a black eye and saw his name and picture circulate around the world and on gossip websites like TMZ due to his status as a lawmaker.

Under a provision in the state Constitution, legislators are immune from arrest in all cases expect treason, felony and breach of the peace.

Ballard spent Friday night in jail, but she has since been released and will not be charged.

Police say both Bundgaard and Ballard had marks suggesting a physical altercation.

Domestic violence advocates say Bundgaard should have been arrested and held accountable, but the senator says he never asked for immunity.

“I’m not immune from prosecution for any of this and the police and I had that discussion,” Bundgaard said.

Phoenix police say they plan to forward their case against Bundgaard to the city attorney and then it will be up to that office to decide whether or not to pursue charges.

In the meantime, Bundgaard and Ballard have ended their seven-month relationship.

 

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