CfA Requests Investigation of AZ Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli for Potential Perjury
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 1, 2023
Contact: Michael Clauw, email@example.com, 202.780.5750
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Campaign for Accountability (CfA) sent a letter to Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes and Mohave County District Attorney Matthew Smith requesting an investigation into Arizona Senate Majority Leader Joseph Borrelli for potential perjury. Documents suggest that Mr. Borrelli knowingly lied during his 2017 divorce proceedings when he told a court there was “no evidence domestic violence occurred in the marriage.” This appears to be untrue as Mr. Borrelli was, indeed, charged with domestic violence assault and criminal damage related to a 2001 attack on his then-wife, Julie Borrelli. Police also filed reports in 2004 regarding another domestic violence incident also involving Ms. Borrelli.
CfA Executive Director Michelle Kuppersmith said, “Arizonans have the right to elected officials who adhere to the highest standards of conduct, yet Sonny Borrelli’s behavior is deplorable. Not only does Borrelli have a history of assault, but we now know he consistently lied about his behavior – to the public, to police officers, and to the court, and he must be held accountable.”
The specifics of the 2001 assault are detailed in CfA’s letter, press accounts, and the original police report released by the Lake Havasu Police Department. Documents obtained by CfA reveal an additional serious incident in 2004, that has not been previously reported publicly but is also described in CfA’s letter. Borrelli apparently felt emboldened to obscure the facts about these events in official court filings, which CfA is now asking prosecutors to investigate.
During his divorce proceedings from Julie Borrelli, Sonny Borrelli filed a Petition for Dissolution of a Non-covenant Marriage Without Children, where he checked a box confirming that there had been no domestic violence in the course of his marriage. The petition also includes an Affirmation Under Penalty of Perjury, filed in 2017, asserting all statements in the petition are true, signed by Borrelli. Because Ms. Borrelli failed to respond to the petition, the presiding judge appears to have relied in part on Borrelli’s apparently false assertions when dissolving the marriage.
Arizona law defines perjury, a class four felony, as making a false sworn statement in regard to a material issue, believing it to be false, or making a “false unsworn declaration, certificate, verification or statement in regard to a material issue that the person subscribes as true under penalty of perjury, believing it to be false.” Because the statute of limitations for felony perjury is seven years, the Mohave County District Attorney still has jurisdiction over this possible 2017 perjury.
Ms. Kuppersmith continued, “There is no excuse for lying to a court under penalty of perjury. Public officials are not above the law and prosecutors should immediately investigate to determine whether Sonny Borrelli’s conduct constitutes perjury under Arizona law and, if so, seek appropriate penalties.”
Campaign for Accountability is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.