Arizona House Expels Republican Over Ethics Violation and Election Misinformation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, April 12, the Republican-controlled Arizona House voted 46 to 13 to expel state Rep. Liz Harris (R) over ethics violations, including some relating to election misinformation. The move comes one day after the Arizona House Ethics Committee released a report determining that Harris violated state House rules when she invited a constituent to share false claims about elections and other conspiracies at a committee hearing. According to the report, the constituent’s presentation was titled “Preliminary Findings of Activities Impacting Arizona’s Election Integrity” and “alleged the existence of numerous schemes that encompass money laundering, drug trafficking and sales, public corruption, bribing of public officials, and election fraud.” The presentation named various public officials and asserted that they committed improprieties. 

The Ethics Committee unanimously concluded that Harris violated Rule 1 of the Rules of the Arizona House of Representatives, which prohibits members from engaging in disorderly behavior; in doing so, according to the report, Harris “damag[ed] the institutional integrity of the House.” The decision came after a formal complaint was filed and the committee held an evidentiary hearing. The committee determined that Harris had prior knowledge that the constituent she invited would include criminal allegations in her presentation and that Harris took steps to avoid submitting the presentation in advance.

After Harris’ ousting, there are now 29 Democrats and 30 Republicans in the Arizona House, a narrowly divided chamber. The resolution to expel Harris received bipartisan support. “I’m not alone in believing that it was irresponsible and bad judgment for Ms. Harris to invite a person to present unsubstantiated and defamatory allegations in a legislative forum,” House Speaker Ben Toma (R) said in a statement on Monday.

According to ABC 15’s Garrett Archer, precinct committee members will vote on three potential replacements and the Maricopa Board of Supervisors will pick from those recommendations.

Read the Ethics Committee report here.

Read the expulsion resolution here.