Now-Secretary of State Adrian Fontes is asking the Court to hold defeated candidate Mark Finchem  responsible for more than $67,000 in sanctions for filing what the judge has determined to be a “bad faith” Election Contest.

Judge Melissa Iyer Julian granted the Motion for Sanctions on March 1, and asked candidate Fontes and the Secretary of State’s Office to submit their attorneys’ fees incurred. The Secretary of State’s Office has until next Monday to file theirs.

Finchem and McCauley have asked the Court to Reconsider its sanctions ruling, but that is not likely to succeed. They have also appealed Judge Julian’s dismissal of the Election Contest to the Court of Appeals, and have requested oral argument. (The case has neither been briefed nor expedited, as yet.)

Judge Julian indicated that she would later decide whether to assess the sanctions against Finchem, his attorney Dan McCauley, or both of them. While not explicitly addressing this question, Fontes’s attorneys are suggesting that it should only be Finchem who is held responsible.

Finchem (and/or others) are also potentially on the hook for sanctions in two other cases – one alleging a former legislative colleague defamed him regarding January 6, and another where Finchem and Lake sued to hand count all Arizona ballots while wrongly claiming that Arizona does not use paper ballots.

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