Arizona Officials Under Investigation Over ‘Pay-For-Play’ Allegations

We’ve got a bombshell story from Arizona that’s sure to make waves in the political landscape.

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes’ office has launched a criminal investigation into political donations linked to Governor Katie Hobbs. This comes after GOP State Senator T.J. Shope raised concerns about potential “pay-for-play” schemes involving a state contractor.

“The Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s Office is statutorily authorized to investigate the allegations and offenses outlined in your letter,” Mayes’ office wrote in a letter to Shope. “To that end, the Attorney General’s Office will be opening an investigation.”

The controversy centers around Sunshine Residential Homes Inc., a company working with the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS). Over the past year, the company has seen a 60% increase in the rate it charges to care for a child per day. This increase, according to reports, could mean millions of dollars more flowing to the company at taxpayers’ expense.

What makes this even more interesting is the connection between Sunshine Residential Homes’ CEO, Simon Kottoor, and Governor Hobbs. Kottoor was part of Hobbs’ inaugural committee, and Hobbs praised the company during her gubernatorial campaign. Adding fuel to the fire, Hobbs and her husband attended a private event at Kottoor’s mansion while the DCS was renegotiating its contracts with home providers.

AG Mayes’ office announced the criminal probe on Thursday, following a request from Senator Shope. In a letter, Mayes’ criminal division chief, Nick Klingerman, confirmed the investigation but did not directly mention Governor Hobbs or the Arizona DCS.

Details about the investigation’s specific goals or targets remain limited at this point. However, Senator Shope and his fellow Republicans are pushing for a thorough and fair examination of the allegations. Shope has also called on Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell to conduct a separate investigation.

“I hope that they will do a fine job and actually go through fairly, through the entire process, and completely thoroughly as well,” Shope said in response to the news.