Oral arguments in election case against Cochise’s Judd, Crosby to start Friday

Oral arguments start Friday, APril 19, 2024, in the election interference cases against Cochise County Supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd. - Contributed Photos

PHOENIX — An election interference case in Arizona will start this Friday.

Oral arguments in the cases against Cochise County Supervisors Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby are scheduled to be heard Friday in Maricopa County Superior Court. The trial of the two supervisors is scheduled to begin May 19.

The two were indicted by a grand jury on Nov. 27, 2023, for conspiracy and interference with an election officer for their roles in delaying the certification of Cochise County’s 2022 election results. Both charges are class-5 felonies, and both Judd and Crosby pleaded not guilty on Dec. 22.

In the grand jury transcripts, as reported by Votebeat Arizona, Crosby, a Republican, blamed Democratic Supervisor Ann English for the delay, saying she did not properly agendize the vote.

Meanwhile, Judd did not answer any questions of the grand jury, instead invoking her right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

Following the 2022 general election, both Judd and Crosby voted for a hand-count of all ballots cast in Cochise County, despite state law calling for the tabulation to be conducted by machine. Eventually the pair agreed to a hand count of a random sampling of ballots following a letter of direction from the Secretary of State’s Office.

The pair also voted to delay canvass of the county’s election results until four days after the state deadline. That resulted in a suit filed by the Secretary of State’s Office to force the board to certify the results. A Cochise County Superior Court judge ruled against Judd and Crosby, and the election results were made official by a 2-0 vote, with Crosby not attending the special meeting to vote on the canvass.

On the GiveSendGo.com donation platform, Judd said, “America’s courts are being weaponized to force out and silence elected officials who are just trying to do their jobs. It’s now happening in our own state. And it’s now happening to me, as a local government official,” adding, “I do not believe I stand a chance of fighting this criminal case against me without an excellent attorney, and I certainly cannot pay my excellent attorney without your help.”

She set a donation goal of $90,000. As of Monday, April 15, she raised $3,365, with the most recent donation made 50 days ago.

Crosby is seeking re-election in his district, which includes Sierra Vista. Judd, who is Republican and whose district includes Willcox, Bowie/San Simon and Benson, did not file to run again.