PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A powerful lobbyist at the state Capitol has accused a state lawmaker of sending threatening text messages and showing up to his office "reeking of alcohol" after confronting him about an alleged extramarital affair with his daughter.
Bas Aja, a lobbyist for the Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association, provided Arizona's Family with screenshots of the text messages, he says, were sent by Rep. David Cook, a Republican from Globe.
One message Cook sent Nov. 4 at 1:20 a.m. said, "I know you stabbed me in the back - and your (sic) hiding from the truth - but it's okay - just wot (sic) and see."
The next day, Cook sent another text at 11:51 p.m., threatening to report Aja to his bosses that said, "I will be sending the AZ cattle feeders board a letter asking to speak to them at their next board."
[ORIGINAL STORY: Arizona lawmaker David Cook denies relationship with suspended lobbyist]
Aja later sent an email to House Speaker Rusty Bowers' office to alert them about the messages and what he said is Cook's excessive drinking.
Aja is the father of AnnaMarie Knorr, also a lobbyist, who is accused of having an extramarital affair with Cook, who is also married.
Their alleged inappropriate relationship has raised questions about the ethics of Cook voting on and supporting legislation backed by Knorr’s employers, the Western Growers Association.
Aja also described an interaction with Cook last week, days before news of the alleged affair was first made public.
"He came into my office, unannounced and sat down in my office ... reeking of alcohol and says, 'I'll leave, I'll leave, I'll leave,' and just kept saying that," Aja said.
He added that he interpreted Cook's comments as he was ready to leave the Legislature. When asked for comment, Knorr and Cook responded via text messages.
Knorr, who has said her relationship with her father is strained, sent a screenshot of a November exchange in which Aja writes, "You aren't worth 10 cents. Forget about it. It's for press, not me."
Cook, who is in Mexico with his wife, said, "Her family is out to destroy her reputation and my wife and I are targets because we support and love AnnaMarie." The Republican lawmaker added, "(Bas) is a terrible human being who doesn't deserve airtime to try to ruin the lives of good people."