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Ethics Complaints Filed Against Arizona GOP Rep. David Cook

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 8:48am
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
David Cook

Two ethics complaints have been filed against Rep. David Cook, who reportedly wrote love letters to an agricultural lobbyists whose interests the Republican lawmaker has supported at the Capitol.

The nature of the complaints against Cook is unknown, as is who filed the complaints. But they follow reports by the Arizona Capitol Times and its sister publication, Yellow Sheet Report, that Cook sent nearly 100 pages of letters to AnnaMarie Knorr, a lobbyist for the Western Growers Association.

Those letters raise questions about Cook’s objectivity as a lawmaker. A rancher from Globe, Cook has sponsored and voted for legislation that benefits Western Growers.

Both Cook and Knorr have denied having a romantic relationship. Knorr was placed on administrative leave by Western Growers in January.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers would not immediately release the complaints to the public. In a statement, Bowers said he first wants to allow the House Ethics Committee to view the complaints. 

Cook will also be provided copies of the complaints before they’re publicly released, Bowers said.

The speaker appointed Rep. John Allen to replace Rep. T.J. Shope as chair of the ethics committee. 

Shope announced Tuesday evening that, after receiving the complaints, he was recusing himself. Shope represents the same legislative district as Cook.

Rep. Regina Cobb, another Republican lawmakers, was also added to the ethics panel by Bowers.