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Criminal Charges Regarding Prop 208 Signature Gathering Featured

Phoenix Petition Signature Gathering Company Faces Criminal Charges for Alleged Illegal Payments to Prop 208 Initiative Circulators

Big Idea

  • The company known as Petition Partners has been charged with 50 misdemeanor counts 
  • These regard alleged payments under illegal bonus programs paid to contracted petition circulators
  • Payments made under two programs, “Duel for the Dollars” and ‘Weekend Warriors” violate a 2017 law
  • Each of the 50 misdemeanor charges carries a potential fine of up to $20K
  • Read more...

Take Note: When hiring signature collectors, no bonus plans

PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today that AZ Petition Partners LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company doing business as “Petition Partners,” has been charged with fifty (50) misdemeanor counts in connection with alleged payments under illegal bonus programs purportedly paid to contracted petition circulators gathering signatures for the Invest in Education ballot initiative (Prop 208).

The charging document filed on October 29, 2020, lists fifty (50) instances where bonuses were allegedly paid to individual signature gatherers through the “Duel for the Dollars” and “Weekend Warriors” bonus programs in June 2020 organized by Petition Partners through the company’s manager, Andrew D. Chavez.

Last month the Arizona Supreme Court issued an opinion upholding relevant portions of a July case in Maricopa County Superior Court (Molera v. Hobbs) related to the illegal payments to signature gatherers. As a part of the July proceeding, the Maricopa County Superior Court found that the payments made under the two programs violated a 2017 law which prohibited payment to circulators “based on the number of signatures collected on a statewide initiative or referendum petition.” The law (A.R.S. 19-118.01) not only invalidates the signatures collected by the circulators who received illegal payments, but also makes the payments a misdemeanor. Specifically, the law states:

A person shall not pay or receive money or any other thing of value based on the number of signatures collected on a statewide initiative or referendum petition. Signatures that are obtained by a paid circulator who violates this section are void and shall not be counted in determining the legal sufficiency of the petition. Paying or receiving compensation in violation of this restriction is punishable as a class one misdemeanor. 

Each of the fifty (50) misdemeanor charge carries a potential fine of up to $20,000.00 for Petition Partners, if convicted.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Todd Lawson with the Election Integrity Unit (EIU) of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

The case was investigated by Special Agent Annalisa Madsen.

Attached is a copy of the charging document.

 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 17 November 2020 12:14
Published in Azpolitics.news
Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Editor and Publisher of CopperState News. In her past life, she was the founder of a successful local news media publication in the Prescott area. She started CopperState News with the idea that local news deserves a statewide platform.

Besides prowling around for community news - especially good news! - Lynne and her husband Lewis enjoy their eight children and six grandchildren (although more are always welcome!). Lynne is connected non-stop to her camera and loves creating unique gifts with her Cricut!

One of her favorite sayings is, "It's not about me!"

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