Embattled Arizona State Senator Tony Navarrete Resigns

 

Arizona State Senator Tony Navarrete (D-Phoenix) resigned from his position Tuesday, after he was arrested and charged with seven felony counts related to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Since his arrest, the vast majority of elected officials throughout the state, including his Democratic colleagues, have called on him to resign.

However, in an email to his constituents, Navarrete denied all allegations made against him.

“I adamantly deny all allegations that have been made and will pursue all avenues in an effort to prove my innocence. In doing so, I will be focusing the vast majority of my time and energy on my defense,” he said in the emailed statement.

While the state legislator claimed innocence, his legal defense will prove increasingly difficult. In a recorded phone call with the victim, Navarrete admitted to the allegations. He acknowledged touching the victim’s genitals and performing oral sex on the youth multiple times over the span of several years. According to the victim, Navarrete touched him at least five times.

In addition to the calls to resign, Navarrete was facing a potential ethics probe requested by Senator Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa).

“This matter is of such egregious nature that it warrants expedient action that cannot wait until the Legislature resumes session in January 2022. I therefore petition Chairwoman Kerr to convene the committee within the week, unless resignation is tendered by Senator Tony Navarrete prior to the convening of the committee,” Townsend wrote in her formal complaint.

Furthermore, Townsend suggested that Governor Doug Ducey call a special legislative session for lawmakers to expel Navarrete if he did not resign.

His private-sector employer, a faith-based organization, put Navarrete on leave and said he will be terminated at the end of the leave.

A status conference for his case is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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