According to an Arizona Capitol Times Yellow Sheet Report, Arizona House Rep. Jay Lawrence (Dist. 23) may have violated campaign finance laws by failing to report multiple years of payments to his wife from his own campaign fund.
The Arizona Secretary of State clearly defines that elected officials are required by law to disclose the source of their spouse’s income if it exceeds $1,000. Lawrence appears to understand this requirement, as he correctly reported his wife’s Social Security income over the same time period. However, in 2016, 2018, and 2019 Lawrence failed to report campaign payments totaling $10,000 to his wife — raising questions about why he tried to keep these contributions in the dark.
Filing false or incorrect information on a financial disclosure form is a class 1 misdemeanor by Arizona law.
Lawrence’s comments on the matter have thus far been mixed. When reached for comment by the Yellow Sheet Report, Lawrence quipped, “I must have forgotten. I will amend that,” indicating that Lawrence understood that failure to report this income was illegal. Even though he had already provided on the record comment to Yellow Sheet Report, days later Lawrence bragged on AZ Forum – his own radio show – that he was “not involved” in any of Yellow Sheet’s reported scandals.
Lawrence’s record can hardly be described as scandal-free. In January, the Arizona Mirror reported that Lawrence admitted to his own bigotry when it comes to allowing refugees into Arizona, stating “I don’t want refugees settled here. They will take from us…Call me a bigot.”
In November, Lawrence is seeking reelection to represent District 23 in the Arizona House of Representatives.