Bill Gates, Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors was reportedly rushed to an undisclosed location for his safety on election day due to security concerns arising from the county’s handling of the 2022 midterms.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department is reportedly providing a security detail for Gates, the highest-ranking official in the most populous Arizona county.
No arrests have been made in connection to any threats against Gates or any other public official, but Maricopa County Sheriff and Democrat Paul Penzone told reporters at a Nov. 21 news conference that all threats will be investigated, according to Fox10 Phoenix,
“This last election, have there been threats? Absolutely. Has it been against any one singular individual? No. It was threats were cast broad and wide,” Penzone said .”They were irresponsible and they were arrogant and they were selfish and they were criminal.”
He added that the threats have been coming in various forms ranging from social media to emails phone calls and even in-person.
“I’m always going to err on the side of overreacting to keep people safe,” Penzone added according to NBC News. “Until I felt that our detectives had a chance to get their arms around any potential threats that may do harm to him or his family, I was not going to allow for them to be in harm’s way.”
“The chairman has said before that the environment that we’re in, where people are spreading misinformation, certainly has not helped, and we’ve seen that over the last two years, not just this election, 2020 and then 2021 with the audit. So I think that, unfortunately, this has sort of been where we’ve been at for a couple years and it sort of ebbs and flows,” Maricopa County spokesman Jason Berry told CNN.
Stemming from the severe irregularities and major equipment and printing failures on election day, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office demanded answers from the County citing “hundreds of complaints” about how the election was handled.
Jennifer Wright, head of the Attorney General’s Elections Integrity Unit wrote in a letter to the County Supervisors Saturday, “These complaints go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa’s lawful compliance with Arizona election law.”
She added, “Furthermore, statements made by both Chairman (Bill) Gates and Recorder (Stephen) Richer, along with information Maricopa County released through official modes of communication appear to confirm potential statutory violations of Title 16.”
Then she dropped a bombshell, “These issues relate to Maricopa County’s ability to lawfully certify election results,” Mohave and Cochise Counties have decided to delay their certifications in solidarity with Maricopa County.
“Arizonans deserve a full report and accounting of the myriad problems that occurred in relation to Maricopa County administration of the 2022 general election,” Wright wrote according to ABC News.