Superior Court judge sanctions Mark Finchem over ‘groundless’ election claims

Court orders Finchem to pay for Fontes’ and Hobbs’ legal fees
File -- Mark Finchem
File -- Mark Finchem(Source: Twitter @MarkFinchem)
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 11:37 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has sanctioned former secretary of state candidate and Arizona lawmaker Mark Finchem over what the court called “groundless” claims about election fraud in the 2022 General Election.

Originally, the court had thrown out Finchem’s complaint in December but he then filed an appeal to attempt to move forward. According to Arizona’s Family records, this is the third time sanctions were issued in lawsuits involving the Finchem campaign. According to a copy of the complaint obtained by Arizona’s family on Monday, Judge Melissa Julian said the court found Finchem’s claims alleging that Maricopa County didn’t hold a fair and secure election were “not brought in good faith.”

The judge also said that the campaign “had some awareness that this case lacked merit” through comments previously made.

Finchem and Zink, a former candidate in Congressional District 3, filed a lawsuit on Dec. 9 to overturn the results of the election. The lawsuit claimed that current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs abused her power by failing to have tabulation machines properly certified and threatening the boards of supervisors in Mohave and Cochise counties with criminal charges if they didn’t certify the election.

Their lawsuit also said that Hobbs should have recused herself from her position as secretary of state since she was running for governor. The pair asked for an inspection of some mail-in ballots to compare signatures and compare “duplicate” ballots, especially for ballots in Congressional District 3. Zink was later taken off the lawsuit.

The court has now ordered Finchem and his campaign to pay for Fontes’ and Hobbs’ attorney fees.