Regarding: Matter of the LD3 Election March 30th, 2023
Dear Chairman Dewit
The MCRC has reviewed the legal opinion released by LD3 Chairman Czarny and published by AZGOP Chairman Dewitt. Written by Roger Stassburg, Esq.
Although Mr. Strassburg quotes the bylaws appropriately for removal of the Chairman, this is not the issue ruled on by the MCRC and therefore, the opinion is not relevant to the matter.
The MCRC’s ruling is not on the removal of a Chairman, but rather remedy for a timely and lawful election challenge of the LD3 body.
On December 1st, 2022, LD3 held an election of its officers and State Committeeman.
Members of the body filed an immediate challenge at the election location regarding illegitimate proxy usage.
On December 4th, 2022, the new LD3 Executive Board addressed the challenge and voted unanimously to ask the MCRC to canvass the proxies and hold a hand recount of the ballots.
On December 5th, 2022, MCRC Chairman Niland responded to the challenge and indicated that the MCRC would not facilitate this audit for LD3, and they must perform their own audit.
On December 6th, 2022, a timely election challenge was filed with MCRC Chairman Niland as required by the Maricopa County Bylaws Section 4, Paragraph F. Timely Challenge to the County Chairman.
On December 9th, 2022, the MCRC voted to create a challenge committee and perform a thorough audit of the election. They were instructed to generate a report and issue the findings to the MCRC board in a week.
On December 14th, 2022, the Challenge Committee presented its findings to the MCRC Board, and the disclosed results were:
The LD3 election rules were violated during the Organizational meeting held on December 1, 2022, and the MCRC recommends a Special Meeting be called for the body to re-vote, and in consistency with the recommendation and subsequent re-vote resulting from the LD11 election challenge and investigation (both officers and state committeemen).
Chairman Niland made a recommendation in her written ruling to LD3 that the election be held before January 4, 2023.
On December 17th, 2022, the LD3 Executive Board had a special call meeting to address the ruling of the MCRC and voted 3 to 2 in favor of holding the new election on December 28th, 2022.
On December 18th, 2022, the call letters were issued to the body for the December 28th, 2022 election.
On December 19th, 2022, Chairman Niland issued an email to the LD3 Executive Board stating that a December 28th, 2022 election would be unfair due to the holidays and that the MCRC would not allow an election until after the holidays. (Even though, LD11 held their re-election on December 27th, 2022 without interference from the MCRC.)
On December 20th, 2022, LD3 Chairman Czarny, Michal Joyner, Nancy Ordowski and others began issuing emails, posting statements and telling the body to ignore the unsanctioned and illegitimate election. Instructing PCs to NOT show up for the election.
Ultimately, the LD3 Executive Board voted to postpone the election due to the chaos and confusion and demands from MCRC Chairman Niland to postpone the date.
However, this remedy was never executed and a new MCRC Executive Board was elected January 14, 2023. LD3 was never given the remedy they deserved; the very remedy ordered by the former MCRC Executive Board.
The current MCRC Executive Board was left to execute the rulings of the previous MCRC Administration.
On February 9th, 2023, Chairman Berland issued a letter to the LD3 Executive Board and requested access to the ballots and proxies for an election audit so that the MCRC could determine if the call for a new election by the previous administration was still warranted. That letter was hand delivered to the LD3 Board by MCRC 1st Vice-Chairman Busch.
That request was met with great hostility by the LD3 Chairman and there was ultimately a refusal to allow the audit to proceed.
This action left the MCRC with only one option:
Allow the MCRC EGC to vote to uphold the ruling of Chairman Niland’s administration, that is, vacate the December 1st, 2022 results, and grant LD3 a new election based on findings of election procedure violations and allegations of fraud as specified in the timely election challenge.
On March 1st, 2023, Chairman Berland and 1st Vice Chairman Busch sought the opinion and consultation of our legal counsel.
On March 7th, 2023, the opinion of our counsel Bryan Blehm, Esq was reported to the Maricopa County Governing Board and a motion was made to grant LD3 relief and have the MCRC administer a new election.
This vote passed 19 to 7 (Chair Berland, 1st Vice Chair Busch and MAL Neglia abstained).
The MCRC holds firm with its decision to provide relief to the LD3 body and grant them a new election on March 30th, 2023 based on a lawful and timely challenge, findings of election violations, allegations of fraud and the authority of the MCRC under both Arizona Revised Statutes and multiple bylaws. We pray that granting remedy will re-establish faith in the election process of LD3 and a rightfully elected leadership.