State Senator Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa) introduced a formal ethics complaint against her colleague Senator Tony Navarrete (D-Phoenix) and urged Governor Doug Ducey to call a special legislative session to expel the embattled state legislator.
Navarrete was arrested on Thursday and charged with seven felony counts connected to allegations of sexual conduct with two minors. He faces a minimum of 49 years in prison.
According to court documents, Navarrete repeatedly made sexual contact with a young boy, who was 12 or 13 at the time, and his brother.
In the formal complaint, Townsend requested an inquiry into whether other people connected to the state lawmaker knew about these allegations and whether Navarrete potentially used various state resources to expose minors to sexual content.
“This matter is of such egregious nature that it warrants expedient action that cannot wait until the Legislature resumes session in January 2022. I therefore petition Chairwoman Kerr to convene the committee within the week, unless resignation by Senator Tony Navarrete prior to the convening of the committee,” Townsend wrote.
In both the request and an earlier tweet, Townsend urged Governor Ducey to potentially call a special session with the goal of expelling Navarrete.
“For the safety of our staff, elected officials, and the public, I am asking that these allegations be addressed through the formal process of the ethics committee, and that should the committee find cause, a recommendation to the Governor to call a special session to take action be made as soon as possible,” she added.
“If Senator Tony Navarrete has not resigned by noon, I am calling on the Governor to call a special session for the purposes of voting to expel.” said Townsend in the tweet.
If Senator Tony Navarrete has not resigned by noon, I am calling on the Governor to call a special session for the purposes of voting to expel.@dougducey
— Senator Kelly Townsend (@AZKellyT) August 9, 2021
Dozens of elected officials, including Ducey, have called on the legislator to immediately resign from his position.
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for the Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Kelly Townsend” by Senator Kelly Townsend and photo “Tony Navarrete” by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0.