Hobbs Being Investigated by Attorney General

By Daniel Stefanski, Arizona Free News | June 10th, 2024

Arizona legislative Republicans are readying the wheels of accountability and oversight after a bombshell report concerning a state department under the governor’s purview.

This week, the Arizona Republic reported on the Arizona Department of Child Safety “approv[ing] what amounts to a nearly 60% increase in the rate that Sunshine Residential Homes Inc. charges to care for a child for a day, meaning potentially millions of dollars more going to the company at taxpayers’ expense.” This action was taken as “DCS has denied pay increases to home operators and cut loose 16 providers during the contract renewal process.” The Republic asserted that “no other standard group home provider was approved for any rate increase during Hobbs’ tenure.”

EDITORS NOTE: The Democrat activist Attorney General Mayes has declared jurisdiction over the investigation into Hobbs creating a potential conflict with Republican Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, who also claims jurisdiction.

Maricopa County Attorney, Rachel Mitchell

The report highlighted that this organization “has undertaken a new six-figure spending campaign benefiting Hobbs and Democratic politics in Arizona.” According to a release issued by Senate Republicans, the donations from Sunshine Residential Homes totaled “approximately $400,000, going towards the Arizona Democratic Party, Hobbs gubernatorial campaign, as well as her inauguration fund.” The Republic also stated that Sunshine’s CEO “was on Hobbs’ inaugural committee.”

Senate President Warren Petersen vowed to hold the Governor’s Office accountable for this action from DCS. He wrote, “Arizonans deserve to know how their elected officials are spending their money, and this case raises a major red flag with what’s happening behind closed doors on the ninth floor. With the state in the middle of a budget shortfall, and with what appears to be a pay-for-play scheme now exposed, the Legislature has a lot of questions we will be seeking answers to from both the Governor’s office and DCS. Our citizens deserve better. Rest assured, we will continue to serve Arizonans as the check and balance against any abuse of power displayed by our Executive and the agencies under her administration.”

Former State Legislator David Lujan serves as the Cabinet Executive Officer of DCS. He was not confirmed by the Arizona Senate to serve as a “director” after Hobbs pulled his name – and many others – from the nomination process after several of her appointments faced intense scrutiny by Republicans in that legislative body.

“This is a disgusting abuse of taxpayer dollars to further her political career, and our hardworking citizens deserve answers as to how she got away with this,” said Senate President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services. “Knowing Arizona’s Governor and the Arizona Democratic Party are providing preferential treatment to a facility alleged to have engaged in negligence leading to the death of a child is unconscionable. Our children are our most precious population, and the state should be doing everything in its power to discourage abuse and neglect, not reward it. How can we trust Hobbs, Democrats, and DCS after these disgraceful transactions that wreak of corruption? This is a prime example of why I sponsored SB 1571. The public has a right to know who is donating to Hobbs, and what favors those entities are receiving in return.”

SB 1571 “instructs candidate committees for statewide candidates to file campaign finance reports during each calendar quarter comprising the forty-eight-month period before the general election,” according to the overview from the Arizona House of Representatives. After receiving overwhelmingly bipartisan support in both the state House and Senate, it was signed into law by Hobbs in April.

Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee weighed in on the shocking news from the Hobbs’ administration, saying, “This is highly concerning and raises more questions than it answers. ‘Pay to Play’ and special favors have no place in state government.”

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