Mosley could face ethics review: Local GOP leaders critical of state representative
Arizona State Rep. Paul Mosley could face an ethics review after video footage revealed him bragging about to a sheriff’s deputy about speeding up to 140 miles per hour during a traffic stop.
Video footage of Mosley’s March 27 stop by a La Paz County Sheriff’s deputy went viral Thursday, getting nationwide attention on social media, news programs and websites. It also got attention – and plenty of criticism --from Republican leaders in Lake Havasu City and in the Arizona State Legislature.
During the stop, Mosley reportedly told the deputy he couldn’t be cited because of laws allowing immunity to state politicians.
State Rep. March Finchem, a Republican from Oro Valley, said he filed a complaint with the House Committee on Ethics about the incident on Thursday morning.
“Conduct unbecoming of a member is always a matter for an ethics complaint,” Finchem wrote in an email to Today’s News-Herald Friday. “The Report has been made and the Ethics Chair and Committee will do their jobs in normal order.”
According to Matthew Specht, director of communications for the Arizona House Republican Caucus, State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, who heads the ethics committee, has not had a chance to review the complaint. After reviewing the complaint, said Specht, Farnsworth would share a copy of it with the other members of the committee and subject of the complaint before determining whether there’s enough evidence to proceed with an investigation.
“With the House of Representatives out of session for the year, it does make it a little bit difficult to get members of the of the committee together but I know that Rep. Farnsworth is hoping to review the complaint shortly and then share it with others,” said Specht, adding that there is no deadline tied to reviewing complaints.
Former Arizona State Senator and Lake Havasu Republican Women’s Club President Sue Donahue says an investigation into the incident would not serve any purpose because Mosley’s campaign for reelection has been “completely ruined.”
“I doubt that they’ll (the committee) be calling for a special session between now and January so what good is it (an investigation) going to do to because then they’ll have to appoint somebody for nothing,” she said. “It should be (up to the people), I mean we’re not a democracy, we’re a republic and that’s how it works; if you don’t like who’s in office, you vote them out so I’m pretty confident that he’ll be voted out.”
State Sen. Sonny Borrelli stated that, if re-elected in the Aug. 28 primary election, Mosley would more than likely face a hearing.
“That is not what is the intent of the legislative immunity is for, the intent of the legislative immunity is to ensure legislatures are not held from being able to do their job at the legislature, it’s designed to protect the legislature apparatus,” he said.
According to the Arizona Constitution, lawmakers “shall be privileged from arrest in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, and they shall not be subject to any civil process during the session of the legislature, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement of each session.” The session ended in early-May.
Both Donahue and Borrelli referred to Mosley’s behavior as embarrassing.
“When I was in the Senate, I knew you could have that sticker put on your driver’s license but you know what? You’re no better than anybody else, you’re serving the constituents in your community…I never had the sticker put on my license because if I was caught speeding I deserve a ticket,” she said.
Laurence Schiff, chairman of the Mohave County Republican Party, said the organization will discuss Mosley’s speeding incident during its quarterly meeting today but that his behavior captured on video was not the standard of Republicans.
“If you are a Republican, you have to double down on what should be standard behavior for all people who are in positions of power and authority and elected positions, meaning by that we have to hold ourselves to an absolutely incredibly high standard of behavior, we have to be role models for appropriate moral behavior; the behaviors that were demonstrated in that video obviously do not meet that standard, to put it mildly,” he said. “I certainly don’t think going 120 or 97 (mph) in a 55 zone is appropriate behavior, you cannot lord it over a police officer…all of those things are inappropriate so there’s no question regarding the inappropriateness of that behavior and we cannot countenance that as an organization.”
Schiff said he does not know what’s going to happen to Mosley going forward but that “the electorate tends to punish these things.”