In a story published on AZCentral.com, State Representative Leezah Sun is under scrutiny after four of her fellow Democrats in the Arizona House of Representatives filed an ethics complaint against her. The allegations involve a reported threat to a Tolleson city employee and intervention in a friend’s child custody case. The author, Stacey Barchenger writes:
The complaint against Rep. Leezah Sun, a Phoenix Democrat, also levies a new allegation: Sun used her position as a lawmaker to intervene on behalf of a friend in a child custody dispute, standing in the way of a court order. The interaction led a neutral custody supervisor to report Sun acting “hostile, threatening” in what the supervisor wrote was an attempt to intimidate her.
The Democratic leadership, including Minority Leader Representative Lupe Contreras, signed the complaint, stressing the gravity of the accusations and the need for an investigation. Per Barchenger:
A copy of the complaint obtained by The Arizona Republic shows it was dated Thursday and signed by the House Democrats’ four leaders: Minority Leader Lupe Contreras of Avondale, Assistant Leader Oscar De Los Santos of Laveen, and co-whips Melody Hernandez of Tempe and Nancy Gutierrez of Tucson.
“This was a very difficult decision for everyone on our team because it involves a member of our caucus,” Contreras said in a statement. “But we believe the documented allegations are very serious and warrant an ethics investigation, and we believe in holding each other accountable for our behavior as public servants.”
The ethics complaint, submitted to the House Ethics Committee chaired by Republican Rep. Joseph Chaplik of Scottsdale, also suggests Sun’s behavior could be considered custodial interference—a felony offense. According to the story:
The complaint, and an attached four-page court record written by a custody supervisor, describes a June 16 incident in Avondale during which Sun appeared to intervene, and ultimately prevent, the court-ordered transfer of four children. The supervisor was assisting with the transfer of children, which was set to take place at a Dairy Queen.
The children were brought by their stepfather and refused to leave with their father, and after an hour of discussion, the supervisor wrote she was approached “in a loud and confrontational manner” by a woman with a sticker on her blouse that said “Rep. [Leezah] Sun.”
This is not the first time Sun has faced scrutiny. A restraining order had been issued against Sun by three Tolleson city employees for threats of violence. As noted by Barchenger:
In mid-October, three Tolleson employees went to court and were granted a restraining order against Sun, alleging she made violent and vulgar threats against them.
The order prohibits Sun from going near the Tolleson Civic Center and from contacting, emailing, or calling City Manager Reyes Medrano, lobbyist Pilar Sinawi and government affairs support specialist Alicia Guzman. Violating the order could lead to criminal penalties.
The full story can be found here. (Subscription Required)