This story was updated at 5:55 pm on Nov. 29.
Cochise County Supervisors Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby were indicted by the State Grand Jury on felony counts of Interference with an Election Officer and Conspiracy.
The charges announced by Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes are tied to the delay in the canvass of last year’s election.
A judge forced the Board of Supervisors to canvass the vote. Judd showed up for the meeting where the vote was certified but Crosby did not.
Crosby sent AZPM a statement from his attorney Dennis Wilenchik who proclaimed Crosby's innocence.
"My response is that my client will be fully vindicated and that this is political partisanship and persecution at its worst. My client is innocent of any charge we know of that can be brought, and he will fully defend himself, and there is no plea in the works I am aware of and none so far even offered. I will review the charges when received since the AG sought to issue this to the press before notifying us," Wilenchik wrote.
In the news release announcing the indictment, Attorney General Mayes took a hard line.
“The repeated attempts to undermine our democracy are unacceptable,” said Attorney General Mayes. “I took an oath to uphold the rule of law, and my office will continue to enforce Arizona’s elections laws and support our election officials as they carry out the duties and responsibilities of their offices.”
Crosby is up for reelection in 2024. Judd is not running for reelection.
The indictments relate to actions the two Republican supervisors took almost exactly one year ago; on November 28, 2022, supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd did not vote to canvass the 2022 General Election, thereby failing to meet the state’s deadline; instead, Crosby said he wanted to wait until December to allow public comment.
“In the politically liberal viewpoint that may prevail at Melody Lane does not prevail in this county,” said Crosby during the November 28, 2022 meeting.
The delay surrounded doubts about the vote tabulation machines’ accuracy. The Arizona Secretary of State’s Election Services Director at the time assured the board that the machines were certified for accuracy. “The equipment used in Cochise County is properly certified under both federal and state laws and requirements,” said Kori Lorick, who was then Election Services Director for the Secretary of State during the November 18, 2022 Cochise Supervisors meeting. “The claims that the SLI testing labs were not properly accredited are false.”
Then Secretary of State Katie Hobbs filed a lawsuit against the supervisors for their refusal to canvass the election by the state’s deadline. A judge in December of last year ordered the board to canvass the election results. Judd said during the December emergency meeting called to comply with the judge's order that she did not regret her actions.
“I am a rule of law person but I had statutes in front of me that said something to me,” said Judd at the December 1, 2022 emergency meeting. “And I am not ashamed of anything I did. And today, I feel I must because of a court ruling …I feel like I must follow what the judge did today.”
Crosby did not attend that meeting and did not vote on the matter — leaving the vote to Judd and Democratic Supervisor Ann English, who both voted to approve the election results as the official canvass.
AZPM reached out to all three supervisors for comment, Judd did not respond and English said she does not have a comment.
Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes was not immediately available for an interview but said in an emailed statement that "Accountability is crucial in matters concerning our democracy."