Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs Mounting Troubles and Investigation

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Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs’ difficulties may be increasing as a result of a recent media report about alleged selective treatment with taxpayer dollars for a state-based organization.

Hours after The Arizona Republic broke the story about the Arizona Department of Child Safety “approv[ing] what amounts to a nearly 60% increase in the rate that Sunshine Residential Homes Inc charges to care for a child for a day,” State Senate President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope sent a letter to Attorney General Kris Mayes and Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, asking their offices to “examine the facts surrounding the alleged decision and determine if conduct by any of the involved parties warrants a criminal or civil investigation.”

The reported action to approve the rate increase for the one organization was made while “DCS has denied pay increases to home operators and cut loose 16 providers during the contract renewal process.” The Republic also asserted that “no other standard group home provider was approved for any rate increase during Hobbs’ tenure.”

Shope said that he was “deeply disturbed by recent reports in the media outlining what can only be described as a pay-to-play scheme between Governor Katie Hobbs’ Office, the Arizona Department of Child Safety, and political donors.”

The letter from the powerful Arizona state senator noted that “these reports, if verified, raise serious public corruption questions that could implicate several state laws, including potentially: Bribery, Fraud schemes and artifices, Arizona Procurement Code, Conflict of interest, and Illegal expenditure of state monies.”

In a subsequent post to his “X” account, Senator Shope said, “We must find the truth of what Governor Hobbs knew and at what time she knew, as well as what she directed based on that knowledge.”

The Chief Counsel of the Arizona Attorney General’s Criminal Division sent a letter back to Senator Shope on Thursday, informing the legislator that his division was “statutorily authorized to investigate the allegations and offenses outlined in [his] letter [and would] be opening an investigation.”

Karrin Taylor Robson, a former Republican candidate for Arizona Governor, weighed in on the matter, writing, “This is why people have lost faith in our elected leaders. Governor Hobbs owes the people of Arizona a complete and total explanation as to how something like this could ever be allowed to happen. Accountability matters.”

The Arizona Republic shared a quote from Hobbs’ spokesperson in response to the Shope letter, which stated, “Like every other ‘investigation’ launched by this chaotic and radical legislature, this is another desperate, partisan stunt. It will don nothing by show the administration put the best interest of Arizona first.”

The Arizona Republic also highlighted that “the news website that documented Governor Hobbs’ private event with Sunshine Residential Homes CEO took down the story,” in an interesting development to the saga.

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This article was published by AZ Free News and is reproduced with permission.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

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