A Maricopa County judge on Tuesday ordered Arizona Republican Lake Curry to reimburse Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs for some legal fees related to the election lawsuit. Lake has appealed for her loss, but stopped short of penalizing Lake for suing.
Judge Peter Thompson dismissed Lake’s lawsuit on Saturday, finding there was no clear or convincing evidence of misconduct and confirming Hobbs’ victory. It was a major defeat for Lake, who lost to Hobbs by nearly 17,000 votes and sued to overturn the election. She appealed the ruling on Christmas Eve and will seek direct review from the Arizona Supreme Court, according to a report released Tuesday afternoon.
Lawyers for Hobbes—the current Secretary of State—accused Lake and his attorney of knowing their objection to the election could not be proven, which would violate legal ethics. They wanted to impose sanctions on Lake and his team. Thompson disagreed. “The court found that the plaintiff’s allegations made in this case were not without foundation and were made in bad faith,” he wrote on Tuesday.
But he ordered Lake to pay Hobbs $33,040.50 in damages for the fees of expert witnesses and again reaffirmed the election of Hobbs, who would be sworn in on January 5.
The latest rulings are the latest rebuke to Holocaust deniers across the country, and serve as a reminder of a long string of legal losses former President Donald Trump suffered in 2020 as he sought to contest his election defeat. Maricopa County, which spans the Phoenix area and is home to a majority of Arizona’s population, was a hotbed of baseless allegations of fraud during the 2020 midterm elections.
Lake, a former Arizona television reporter, built her campaign around her support for Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Since then, she’s doubled down, falsely claiming to have won the 2022 election.
Thompson had previously dismissed eight alleged counts in Lake’s pretrial, ruling that they did not constitute an appropriate basis for a campaign course under Arizona law, even if they were true. But Lake was allowed to try to prove during a two-day trial last week two additional counts related to Maricopa County printers and the ballot chain.
In Thompson’s decision Saturday, Lake’s team had to show that someone intentionally caused poll printers to malfunction at the county’s request — and as a result, lost enough “identifiable” votes to change the outcome of the election.
“Every witness in court denied any personal knowledge of such misconduct. The court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in lieu of clear and convincing evidence,” Thompson wrote.
This story has been updated with additional information.