TUCSON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Tuesday morning that the City of Tucson's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for public employees violates state law and also conflicts with Governor Ducey's executive order.
Brnovich's office says Tucson must get rid of their vaccine mandate or they will lose millions of dollars in funding from the state.
“Tucson’s vaccine mandate is illegal and the city could be held liable for attempting to force government employees to take it against their beliefs,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “COVID-19 vaccinations should be a choice, not a government mandate.”
Also, Brnovich says the City of Tucson could find itself with possible liability claims if they don't rescind their mandate. In response to Brnovich's comments, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, City Attorney Mike Rankin, and City Manager Michael Ortega released statements Tuesday afternoon:
“It is deeply unfortunate, but not surprising, that the Attorney General is prioritizing his political ambitions over his responsibility to objectively interpret the law,” said Mayor Romero. “This report reads more as a campaign speech filled with political commentary rather than a fact-based legal opinion. We are currently reviewing our options, and Mayor and Council will need to provide direction as to how we proceed from here.”
Rankin noted the Governor's law is not effective until Sept. 29, but his team is evaluating the implications of Brnovich's opinion that the city is violating a statute that does not yet have legal effect. Ortega said until the city has a better understanding of their legal position, the implementation of the vaccine policy has been paused.