Mosley’s traffic ticket to become precedent-setting

    • Mosley’s case is unique in Arizona history
    • He alleges via his two attorneys “selective prosecution”
    • Blames “media storm” created after Parker Live broke story
    • County Attorney quotes Thomas Jefferson and says Mosley must be held accountable

Former state representative Paul Mosley appeared in court Friday with two attorneys arguing that legislative immunity prevents him from being prosecuted for his March 2018 traffic violation.

Mosley’s attorneys David Stringer, a current Arizona legislator, and Michael Taylor, a consulting attorney on the case, say the scope of legislative immunity has “yet to be considered” by the Arizona courts and that they are unaware of any Arizona lawmakers who have asserted their privilege and later been prosecuted for the crime.

According to the Arizona Legislative Manual Glossary of Legislative Terms, legislative immunity is, “A limited constitutional privilege for legislators from civil process and arrest during and immediately preceding the legislative session.”

Mosley is arguing that his immunity as a lawmaker allowed him to drive his car through La Paz County at 97 miles per hour on March 27th, 2018 without being subject to a civil ticket or criminal prosecution. He is also alleging unfair treatment, citing a “media storm” created when Parker Live published the video of Mosley telling a Sheriff’s Deputy that he drives at up to 140 miles per hour.

“We have been unable to identify any other member of the legislature who has been stopped for a traffic violation, given a warning and then summoned to court after session ended,” Taylor told Justice of the Peace Tiffany Dyer. “So we think there’s an issue here of, potentially, selective prosecution.”

Citing case law, Taylor said legislative immunity does not end when the legislator leaves office, as Mosley did at the end of 2018 after losing his re-election bid. Taylor said there are functions within the legislature itself for punishing members who misbehave, such as the ethics complaint filed by fellow members against Mosley after his immunity claim became public, but that the legislative immunity is important for protecting the legislature from the other branches of government and should protect Mosley from his criminal speeding charge.

Taylor said the video of Mosley’s traffic stop was “leaked” to the press and that the fallout was unique and unprecedented, including an executive order by the Governor. This is misleading. In fact, Parker Live filed a public records request for the video, and the La Paz County Sheriff’s Department responded by releasing the video to us per our request, followed by many other news outlets nationwide who then followed the same procedure.

Dyer interjected to say that she, too, had seen the video in the news, and counsel replied that they did not have any issue with her having seen the video and believed she could still be impartial.

Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre, who is prosecuting the case, told the court that anybody can be pulled over for speeding.

“Let’s talk about what’s not selective at all about this. Black, white, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, everyone gets charged with excessive speeding. It just happens,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre said there are a whole list of misdemeanor offenses that, if Mosley’s defense was upheld, would then be protected acts under legislative immunity too.

“This isn’t the only crime implicated by the claims of the defendant. Shoplifting, criminal damage, theft, animal cruelty, driving on a suspended license. The counsels’ claim is that while the legislature is in session and 15 days prior, a member of the legislature can never be held responsible for any of these misdemeanor offenses, because, legislative immunity.”

McIntyre told the court that he believes legislative immunity is limited to acts “relating to legislative activity”, by “legislators acting in the scope of their official duties.” He said Mosley was stopped 200 miles away from the Capitol while heading home, “completely removed from his official duties.”

“This is an attempt to grossly expand the legislative privilege, because what we have here, a member of the legislative body at the time, quoting essentially the legislative manual, taking an excerpt of that, and using that to expand broadly what the privilege was intended to do.”

McIntyre cited a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson, saying that “legislators ought not to stand above the law they create.”

In his rebuttal, Taylor said McIntyre was conflating the speech and debate clause with the privilege from arrest clause of the legislative manual, repeating the claim that there is in fact immunity to criminal charges and that it is there to prevent members of the legislature from being arrested. He said it is not there to protect legislators with respect to all crimes, but that it applies in this case.

Taylor told the court that Mosley “did not get away scot-free,” and in fact was subject to procedures within the legislature as is proper.

Rose Law Group Reporter claims Mosley has become an Uber driver, despite several instances of being stopped for speeding since 2017.

The parties are to submit to Dyer supplemental briefs within 30 days, and there will be a status hearing on Mosley’s case in May.

21 comments

  1. GD Tucker

    they should throw the book at this fool.

  2. Netera LeMaster

    Yes he should be held accountable

  3. Terilyn Gary

    This statement bout sums it up:

    “Mosley is arguing that his immunity as a lawmaker allowed him to drive his car through La Paz County at 97 miles per hour on March 27th, 2018 without being subject to a civil ticket or criminal prosecution.”

  4. Dori Pace

    Give him a pacifier so he’ll stop crying!

  5. all he had to do was keep his mouth shut , you know the saying Anything you say can and WILL be used against you in a court of law

  6. Robb Cozby

    Politicians who believe they are above the law, is the very real effects of the belief that they are above us… they work FOR us and as a result should be held to the same standards of conduct as every other citizen…

  7. John Stephen Lane Sr.

    The ticket for speeding did not in anyway interfere with his ability to legislate. The purpose of immunity is to prevent any legislator from being denied their purpose to legislate. For example, without immunity charges might be filed against a legislator who may be in a position to be the critical vote on a bill, those charges would include an arrest which would prevent them from voting. Immunity prevents this from happening.

    The video is self revealing and his bragging to the officer is without any doubt as to his arrogance. This could have been handled locally had the Sheriff not gotten involved and gave him a pass. He should have been cited and have is day in Court in La Paz County, like anyone else. The media (such as it is) would not have been compelled to act responsibly and reveal the facts of the case. You get a ticket and you pay it or go to Court. No big deal. No one would have cared (as we saw with his previous stops for speeding) and he might still be in office. He did this to himself, no one else to blame.

  8. Karina Deann Cesena

    What about vice chairmen who got DUI?

  9. Jason Ball

    Good, I hope he drains the entire budget from those corrupt Wingdings running that county.

  10. Scott Dunlap

    Seems to me if he would have just payed the ticked we wouldn’t even be talking about it and it would be history. Just saying

  11. Justin Keep

    He should’ve received a citation upon the initial traffic stop to begin with, then let him fight it in court like the rest of us would’ve had to.

  12. Nicole Ching

    Isn’t this felony driving? It is over 15 MPH over the posted speed limit and if this was any joe smoe caught they would have lost their license not just a misdemeanor ticket so his legislative privileges are already in affect

  13. Pr Brookman

    Damn right he should!!!!

  14. Ron Bales

    Jason Ball who are you? Mind your business you’re not here just stay their

  15. Ron Bales

    Justin Keep no in Arizona he should have been arrested and car towed for reckless driving 15 over the speed is jailable

  16. Jerry Seger

    Taxpayers are paying a buttload of money.

  17. Jim Wooddell

    Thank goodness we have a legal system that allows everyone a chance to be heard. Media storm…is an understatement. People are so blind…and limited in their depth of knowledge. Guilt by media. I hope you all get you video posted the next time you get pulled over…so we can determine how guilty you are.

  18. Bill Risen

    You are wrong, I did not give him a free pass. I was not even aware of this particular traffic stop until after it happened. Get your facts straight.

  19. John Stephen Lane Sr.

    Bill Risen As I recall, it was reported that you were involved in the decision not to charge him in the first place according to the media. This was in party the reason why it was referred to another jurisdiction. If my recollection based upon the article is in error, I sincerely apologise. If the article was in error and my recollection is correct, I could hardly be expected to apologise for a published report in the media.

    Now according to the press release, it stated that the Deputy had acted properly by not citing Mosely an referred the matter for review. It seems to me that the Deputy should have issued a citation for the speed violation as with any other citizen and leave the issue of immunity to the proper Court and while protecting his due process rights as they may apply. To allow a Deputy the authority as to determine whether a law may or may not apply in a case such as this sets a bad precedent. There is no doubt that the Deputy did the right thing by stopping him in the first place as there was a clear violation of the law. Making a legal decision based upon the citizens claim of immunity seems to me to be outside the scope of his position as a law enforcement officer. Had Mosely been cited, he could have paid the fine or gone before a Judge and the Judge decides if immunity applies in this case. That is the way the system is supposed to work. I would argue that Mosely would have been smart to have accepted the citation, paid it and still be in the legislature.

  20. Jason Ball

    Ron Bales Obviously I know that dirty little town better than YOU

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