Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson on Tuesday denied motions by Maricopa County and Governor-elect Katie Hobbs to sanction the lawyers of unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
“There is no doubt that each side believes firmly in its position with great conviction,” he wrote, adding that “the fact that plaintiff failed to meet the burden of clear and convincing evidence required” does not “equate to a finding that her claims were, or were not, groundless and presented in bad faith.”
Lake had filed suit to try to overturn her election loss.
Lawyers for Hobbs and Maricopa County had argued that Lake was “misusing the courts” to try to undermine Arizona elections for her own political gain.
Thompson seemed inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt, noting that he’d let two of her 10-part lawsuit go to trial.
“Although eight of Plaintiff’s claims were dismissed as a matter of law, two claims did survive and proceed to trial,” he wrote. “Granting a hearing on those claims was a question of law applied to facts and not a benevolent act.”
He did agree to compensation for Hobbs’ expert witness and ballot inspector.
Thompson dismissed the last two counts of Lake’s lawsuit on Saturday after two days at trial. Lake has vowed to appeal his decision, while also amplifying, in a now-deleted tweet, a conspiracy theory that Thompson’s decision was ghostwritten by Democratic Party-aligned lawyers.