Jul 01, 2022
Top election officials in Arizona county leave amid threats
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PHOENIX (AP) — The elected county recorder and the elections director in Arizona’s Yavapai County are resigning after more than a year and a half of threats and heated criticism from backers of former President Donald Trump who accept his lie that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud.
County Recorder Leslie Hoffman said Friday that she is fed up with the “nastiness” and has accepted a job outside the county.Her last day will be July 25. She said longtime elections director Lynn Constabile is leaving for the same reason, and Friday is her last day.
“A lot of it is the nastiness that we have dealt with,” Hoffman said. “I’m a Republican recorder living in a Republican county where the candidate that they wanted to win won by 2-to-1 in this county and still getting grief, and so is my staff.”
“I’m not sure what they think that we did wrong,” she said. “And they’re very nasty. The accusations and the threats are nasty.”
Constabile was busy Friday doing a required pre-election “logic and accuracy test” for the upcoming primary and unavailable for comment.
Hoffman and Constabile’s experiences are not unique, as election professionals across the nation have been threated and harassed since Trump’s loss. A former Georgia election worker testified to a congressional committee last week about how her life was upended when Trump and his allies falsely accused her and her mother of pulling fraudulent ballots from a suitcase in Georgia.
Ken Matta, who worked at the Arizona Secretary of State’s office for nearly 20 years, quit his job as head of election security on May 6. He said in long Twitter thread that he decided to leave in large part because he was tired of the threats and harassment he and other election workers were subjected to.
Arizona’s 15 county recorders are responsible for voter registration and ensuring mail ballots are properly sent to the more than 80% of voters who vote by mail. They earn just $63,800 a year, a salary set by the Legislature that has not risen in the decade Hoffman has been in office.
County elections directors are appointed and run the actual elections and oversee ballot counting. Constabile has been the election director for 18 years, and is also leaving for another job
Hoffman said the county sheriff’s office decided she needed added protection after the 2020 election because of threats and began regular patrols of her home, something unheard of before.
Meetings of the Board of Supervisors are packed with critics holding signs and hissing from the back when Hoffman or Constabile are set to make a presentation.
“Every time we have something on the agenda, people come in and protest it,” Hoffman said. “They don’t like the vendors we use, they don’t like the programs they want to put in place. It’s very sad.”
Hoffman is a longtime resident of Yavapai County and said she once turned to those “hissing” at her from the back of the room.
“And I looked at them and I said ‘You know what, I’ve been in this county since 1961 — there’s nobody in this county that cares any more about it than I do,’” she said. “And that was met with ’Shut up, turn around, face the board; you’re being condescending.’”
She said she is confident her “wonderful staff” will ensure this year’s elections are well run and that county supervisors will appoint qualified replacements.
“They’re going to be very diligent on researching anybody that they would consider to appoint,” she said.
Early ballots for the Aug. 2 primary will be mailed next week.
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Tags: they don’t like they don’t like don’t like they don’t they don’t election because elections director county recorder in this county threats yavapai county from the back a republican her last day the election leaving the threats
PICTURED: Shooter who slammed car into barricade near US Capitol before opening fire and killing himself is a 29-year-old drug addict who had been arrested for making terrorist threats
A lifelong criminal is dead after he drove his car into a barricade near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and then began firing gunshots in the air as he emerged from the burning car before fatally shooting himself.
The man has been named by the United States Capitol Police as 29-year-old Richard A. York III with an address in Delaware.
York has a criminal record mainly in Pennsylvania going back as far as 2012.
The statement identifying York said: 'It is still not clear why he chose to drive to the Capitol Complex.'
His actions are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington. DailyMail.com has reached out to the DC police for comment.
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told the media in a press conference that officers who approached York following the crash did not hear him say anything.
Manger also said that investigators are searching York's background in an attempt to figure out a motive.
Richard A. York pictured on his Facebook page back in 2017. The suspect has a lengthy criminal record going back to 2012
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said that investigators believe that York set his own car on fire prior to taking his own life
The chief also said that investigators believe that Manger may have started the fire that ignited his car.
Manger said: 'The subject has a criminal history over the past 10 years or so, but nothing that, at this point, would link him to anything here at the Capitol.'
In February 2017, York was charged with burglarizing a pharmacy in Hellerton, Pennsylvania. He was accused of stealing several controlled substances in the crime.
York was charged with burglary (first-degree felony), criminal trespassing (second-degree felony), theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia
In January 2020, York viciously assaulted a co-worker while the two were in the victim's home in Pennsylvania.
York accused his colleague of contacting the suspect's mother and proceeded to beat him, split his TV in half and force him to run from his own home in shorts and a t-shirt in 39 degree weather, reported WFMZ at the time.
His legs were blue and his face showed extensive swelling following the attack.
The station's report says that after the victim fled the home, York proceeded to vandalize the home further. The pair had been working together on roofing projects in Philadelphia at the time.
He was charged with aggravated assault, single misdemeanor counts of simple assault and criminal mischief and a summary count of harassment in that incident.
Other crimes included guilty pleas for disorderly conduct in December 2016, making terroristic threats in January 2012, and possession of a controlled substance in February 2012.
For the latter two arrests, York did not serve jail time until November 2013 until he failed a drug test during his probation. He was sentenced to between a year and two years in prison for the offenses.
No one else was injured as York slammed his car into the barricade and began firing wildy
Sunday's incident happened just before 4 a.m. on Sunday at a vehicle barricade set up at East Capitol Street and 2nd Street in Washington.
Capitol Police said that York crashed into the barricade and that as he was getting out of the car, the vehicle became engulfed in flames.
York then opened fire, firing several shots into the air as police approached. He then turned the gun on himself and was later pronounced dead.
No other injuries were reported and police do not believe any officers returned fire. A motive for the incident is not known at this time, but police are investigating.
Police said in a statement: 'It does not appear the man was targeting any member of Congress' and that investigators are examining the man's background as they work to try to discern a motive.
Both the House and Senate are in recess and very few staff members work in the Capitol complex at that hour.
The shooting comes at a time when law enforcement authorities across the country are facing an increasing number of threats and federal officials have warned about the potential of violent attacks on government buildings in the days since the FBI's search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
The attack is reminiscent of an incident when a man drove a vehicle into two Capitol Police officers at a checkpoint in April 2021, killing Officer William 'Billy' Evans, 41, who was an 18-year veteran of the force.
Sunday's incident is reminiscent of a 2021 attack (pictured) when a man drove a vehicle into two Capitol Police officers at a checkpoint in April 2021, killing Officer William 'Billy' Evans
The driver, Noah Green, 25, came out of the car with a knife and was shot to death by a third police officer after he lunged at him. Investigators believe Green had been delusional and increasingly having suicidal thoughts.
Evans, a father of two, grew up in North Adams, Massachusetts, a close-knit town of about 13,000 in the northwest part of the state.
His death came nearly three months after the January 6 rioting at the Capitol that left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died a day after the insurrection.
Barbed wire fencing had surrounded the Capitol for months after pro-Trump rioters stormed the building.
The fencing has since been removed and thousands of National Guard troops who had been deployed in response to the January insurrection have since returned home, but many on Capitol Hill remain on edge.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 160 crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with numbers 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.