A Republican Maricopa County supervisor plans to step down from his post after audio was published of him making comments about his colleagues concerning the controversial Arizona Senate audit of the 2020 election in his county.
Steve Chucri, the supervisor for District 2, shared a statement to the Washington Examiner on Tuesday announcing his last day in office will be on Nov. 5.
“The environment is wrought with toxicity — and all civility and decorum no longer seem to have a place,” said Chucri, who has been a member of the county board since 2013. “The fixation with the 2020 election results and aftermath have gotten out of control," he added.
Like the majority of Maricopa County supervisors, Chucri has been publicly critical of the partisan audit spearheaded by Republican Senate President Karen Fann, who is expected to release the long-awaited audit report on Friday, but he wasn't always against it.
A secret recording, published by the right-wing website Gateway Pundit this week, revealed Chucri suggested that fellow Supervisors Jack Sellers and Bill Gates were afraid of conducting an election review because their own political races were close.
Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri resigns pic.twitter.com/gx8DxW1sE8
— Jen Fifield (@JenAFifield) September 22, 2021
The District 2 supervisor reportedly made the comments about his fellow Republican supervisors at a March 22 meeting with leaders from the group called We the People AZ Alliance, as well as during a Jan. 22 phone call.
Chucri apologized on Tuesday, saying, "The comments I made were during a very turbulent time."
He added: “My colleagues have every right to be both angry and disappointed with me. I should not have made such statements and offer my colleagues heartfelt apologies."
Gates responded to Chucri's resignation announcement on Wednesday, agreeing that the Senate-led audit led to "a tumultuous time on the Board of Supervisors since the election."
“But all of that has created a toxic environment, and I’m sad that that toxic environment has led to Steve Chucri leaving the Board of Supervisors," Gates told KTAR News.
Fann has said that the 2020 election audit is about restoring faith in the county's election system after Arizona became a target by former President Donald Trump's fraud allegations following his loss in the state.
President Joe Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes out of more than 3.3 million cast across the state. His lead of roughly 2 percentage points was due partly to his advantage in Maricopa County, where the Democrat scored nearly 45,000 more votes than Trump.
Maricopa County officials, who largely opposed the Arizona Senate's audit in court until a judge ruled its subpoenas were "legal and enforceable," previously authorized two election machine audits that found no irregularities in the county's 2020 election. There was also a recount of a sample of ballots that did not turn up any problems.
For months, state and local officials of both parties have defended Maricopa County against allegations from Trump and sympathetic Republicans that its election results were fraudulent. In August, Sellers called the review an "adventure in never-never land," while Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has insisted it is a "political stunt."
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Kaelan Deese