Former Rep. Mosley abandons legislative immunity fight, goes to driving school

UPDATE: Mosley’s attorney Jacob Baldridge has replied to Parker Live with specific answers to two questions we asked him: (1) What was the reason behind Mosley’s decision to abandon the ‘legislative immunity’ argument he had been making up until now? (2) Did Mosley fire David Stringer as his attorney? Was that decision due to Stringer’s own public scandal and/or ethical problems Mosley had with him as his attorney?

The answer is as follows.

(1) While Mr. Mosley was immune from arrest at the time of this incident, he has chosen to move forward for himself and his family by completing defensive driving school because he was driving above the speed limit. While he was doing so in his capacity as a state legislator, he acknowledges that he was speeding and looks forward to the matter being dismissed upon his completion of defensive driving school. He accepted defensive driving school as a way to resolve the case at the first opportunity it was offered. As someone who worked hard to serve the people of La Paz County, he does not want to use any additional court time or resources in litigation. The fight over legislative immunity is a legal issue best left to our elected law makers, not trial courts.

(2) No, David Stringer is currently co-counsel. Mr. Stringer has been actively involved in the case from its inception. I recently joined the defense team to provide local counsel Mr. Stringer’s and Mr. Mosley’s request. Mr. Stringer remains co-counsel and has been actively involved in the resolution of the case.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Former Arizona State Representative Paul Mosley has abandoned his fight to prove that he had special legislative immunity to drive as fast as he wants, opting instead to ask the court if he can settle his infamous speeding case by attending driving school.

Mosley was pulled over near Parker, AZ in March 2018 for allegedly driving at 97 miles per hour. The state Republican cheerily told the La Paz County Sheriff’s Deputy that he often drives at up to 140 mph, claiming that he has ‘legislative immunity’ as an elected member of the Arizona House of Representatives. After Parker Live published the deputy’s body camera video, the incident went viral, making news nationwide and leaving Mosley facing intense criticism. He was formally censured by his own party, accused of sexism at the legislature and rebuked with a formal ethics complaint. After he failed to show up at court, a warrant was issued for Mosley’s arrest and he surrendered in court in September 2018. Mosley lost his re-election bid in November 2018.

His speeding case was sent to the Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre, who pursued criminal speeding charges against Mosley. Mosley hired fellow Republican State Representative David Stringer to defend him, and the two appeared in court together in March 2019 to make the case that Mosley’s legislative immunity means he cannot be charged for speeding. Then, later the same month, Stringer resigned from the legislature himself in the face of ethics complaints of his own.

The case was set for an evidentiary hearing, at which Stringer had promised multiple witnesses testifying to the legality of claiming legislative immunity for speeding as an elected member of the state legislature. It was to become precedent-setting, with some legal experts saying the case could go all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court for a final decision on the scope of elected representatives’ legislative immunity.

But now, Mosley appears to have abandoned his fight to prove immunity. Judge Tiffany Dyer at the Parker Justice Court granted Mosley’s request Wednesday to allow him to attend defensive driving school and vacate the evidentiary hearing. Mosley must register for traffic school and complete it by December 30th.

McIntyre, tasked with prosecuting Mosley, said it was important that Mosley not get special treatment.

“What I have wanted to see all along here was that Mosley was treated like a regular person,” McIntyre told Parker Live. “Consistent with Arizona law, he was eligible to request driving school at the sole discretion of the court. The Court has granted his request and vacated the evidentiary hearing on Friday.”

On whether this is a precedent-setting decision, McIntyre said it applied to Mosley in particular.

“While this resolution does not create binding legal precedent for future cases, it does make clear that in this particular case, this member of the legislature was, in fact, subject to the law.”

Parker Live has reached out to Jacob Baldridge, the Kingman attorney currently representing Mosley, to ask why Mosley made the decision to reverse course on proving his immunity, and to ask why Stringer does not appear to be representing Mosley anymore. We will update this article if we hear back from him.

5 comments

  1. he eats GRits

  2. Perry Hernandez

    Apparently some state representatives think they are above the law

  3. David Davis

    Driving school? Shouldn’t that ticket be a misdemeanor?

  4. Parker Live

    They begin that way, but it’s the discretion of the court whether to allow driving school to resolve it (I believe it’s more common than not if the only charge is excessive speed)

  5. Neil Allen

    But you’ll pull someone over and harass them for having an air freshener

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