Home>Legislation>Toma Creates Ad Hoc Committee on Executive Oversight
State Representative Jacqueline Parker speaking with the media at a press conference for the Arizona Freedom Caucus at the Arizona Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona.
State Representative Jacqueline Parker speaking with the media at a press conference for the Arizona Freedom Caucus at the Arizona Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Toma Creates Ad Hoc Committee on Executive Oversight

Created to deter abuse of power and weaponization of political offices by partisans

By Steve Kirwan, March 28, 2024 12:17 pm

Arizona’s House Speaker Ben Toma (R-27) is putting teeth into his rhetoric against abuse and weaponization by overzealous partisan politicos. On Monday, March 26, 2024, he announced the formation of an ad hoc committee to investigate allegations of abuse of power, dereliction of duty, and malfeasance by state elected officials. Toma specifically addressed a range of concerns over Attorney General Kris Mayes’ job performance.

In a concurrent press release, Toma announced, “The Arizona House of Representatives has an inherent obligation under the Arizona Constitution to conduct appropriate oversight of officers in the Executive branch to protect the rule of law and the separation of powers. I established this Committee because the public and members of the House have raised serious concerns suggesting that Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has engaged in a pattern of malfeasance in office. It is critical that this Committee fully investigate those allegations, thoroughly review Arizona laws, and solicit more information as necessary to advise the House on any and all appropriate measures that should be taken.”

The committee’s stated purpose is to:

  • Examine the scope and sufficiency of Arizona laws that establish the duties, powers, and proper role of the Arizona Attorney General and other state officers;
  • Investigate allegations against state officers, including Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, that relate to abuse of statutory authority, refusal to perform duties required by law, and/or malfeasance in office;
  • Identify, evaluate, and propose recommendations to the Arizona House of Representatives, including but not limited to:
    • Potential legislation to promote the rule of law and deter partisan abuse and weaponization of the office of Arizona Attorney General or other state offices;
    • Any other appropriate remedial action authorized by the Arizona Constitution

The committee, comprised of eight House members (no more than five from the same political party), will include Jacqueline Parker (Chair, R-15), Austin Smith (Vice Chair, R-29), Neal Carter (R-15), John Gillette (R-30), David Marshall, Sr. (R-7), plus three Democrats yet to be named.

Toma appointed Parker to manage the new Committee because of her experience as chair of the Municipal Oversight and Elections Committee. Parker added her own concerns about Mayes, vowing to investigate and take appropriate actions.

She stated, “Attorney General Mayes has refused to defend state laws in court, harassed parents who have elected to use the ESA program to educate their children, threatened elected county officials with illegitimate prosecutions, and diverted funds and resources of her office to serve her own partisan purposes that are not authorized by the Legislature or state law. These are among the allegations that I expect the Ad Hoc Committee will thoroughly investigate.”

An initial schedule of meeting dates is expected shortly.

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