/ Modified mar 2, 2023 9:52 p.m.

AG warns Cochise County Board of Supervisors

Open meeting law violations were raised.

cochise county seal The seal of Cochise County.

The Arizona Attorney General has written two letters warning the Cochise County Board of Supervisors of multiple open meeting law violations.

On February 23, the Arizona Attorney General’s office sent a letter to the Cochise County Board of Supervisors, saying that the AG’s office has received several open meeting law complaints alleging open meeting law violations, with the majority centering on Supervisor Tom Crosby.

That letter cited a complaint alleging that Crosby and Supervisor Peggy Judd met privately without public notice in November to file a lawsuit against former elections director Lisa Marra to coerce her to conduct a 100% hand count of the 2022 general election, and the two met again unannounced a few days later to withdraw the suit.

The second letter, dated March 1, added two additional potential open meeting law violations relating to the board's February 23 work session and the February 28 regular meeting.

During last Thursday’s work session, Crosby called for “consensus” to vote on issues surrounding the vote tabulation machines and whether or not to direct the Cochise County Recorder David Stevens to act.

Deputy County Attorney Christine Roberts interjected multiple times to warn Crosby of potential open meeting law violations to call for a vote during a work session, but Crosby persisted, asking if there was “consensus.”

The second complaint cited another potential violation during last Tuesday’s regular meeting.

When discussion began on the agreement to shift administrative authority over the county elections department to Recorder Stevens, Crosby referenced two different versions of the agreement, calling one “the Crosby” version and the second the “Stevens” version.

Supervisor Ann English had indicated that the public was not aware of the changes made from one version of the agreement to the next, and that such changes were not reflected in the version of the agreement posted for the public.

The AG’s office is giving the board until March 15 to respond to the inquiry and to provide either an objection to the complaints or a reason for not complying with open meeting law.

But the list of potential violations doesn’t stop there.

The February 23 letter references two additional complaints centered on Crosby from the July 26 and April 5 meeting last year.

In the July meeting, Crosby discussed matters not relating to the amendment of an agreement between the U.S. Army Environmental Command and the Cochise County Flood Control District to allocate $1,500,000 for the Bella Vista/Coyote Wash Stormwater Management Project.

Crosby discussed topics outside of the agenda item, and chose to instead question the legitimacy of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area or otherwise known as the SPRNCA.

In the July 26 meeting, Crosby said “All of this is based on the existence of the SPRNCA, which I say is fraudulent.”

The SPRNCA was congressionally recognized and designated as a National Conservation Area (NCA) on November 18, 1988 according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s website.

In the April meeting, Crosby went off topic again on the agenda item referring to extending an agreement between the Cochise County Health and Social Services and the Arizona Department of Health Services. Crosby made comments regarding natural immunity for those who are not vaccinated for COVID-19.

The letters sent by the Arizona Attorney General’s office can be viewed on their website.

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