Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce Recall: Judge to Allow New Evidence in Lawsuit Challenging Olivia Cortes

It ain't over till it's over, and the lawsuit challenging the sham recall candidacy of Olivia Cortes ain't over, yet.

Though Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Edward Burke yesterday refused to remove Cortes from the ballot, on Friday at 3:30, he will allow the plaintiff's lawyers, Tom Ryan and H. Michael Wright, to enter new evidence into the record in an attempt to have Burke reconsider his ruling.

Wright told me that he and co-counsel Ryan will call witnesses. Subpoenas and litigation hold letters are going out to several parties, the latter ordering them to preserve evidence. Wright did not want to say who would be subpoenaed until those persons are served.

The witnesses and new evidence will show links between members of the campaign of state Senate President Russell Pearce and Cortes' candidacy, according to Wright. 

Asked if he believes that Pearce knew of the Tea Party conspiracy to place Cortes on the ballot as an effort to siphon votes away from Pearce's main rival, Republican Jerry Lewis, Wright said, "Oh, yes."

Pearce has so far denied involvement, though his supporters and family members were directly responsible for Cortes' running and getting her name on the November 8 ballot in Legislative District 18.

The hearing was scheduled after a telephonic conference between the judge and attorneys from both sides in the case. It's the result of an emergency motion filed by Wright and Ryan Monday.

(You can read that motion, here.)

Friday's courtroom action will occur one day after Cortes, Lewis and Pearce are scheduled to appear at a candidates forum sponsored by the Mesa Chamber of Commerce. 

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons