Updated Dec 27, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Arizona judge rules out sanctions against Kari Lake but orders $33,000 in fees

Kari Lake speaking at a rally in Scottsdale, Arizona, in November 2022.

Kari Lake speaking at a rally in Scottsdale, Arizona, in November 2022. Photo: Jon Cherry/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An Arizona judge on Tuesday declined to issue sanctions against former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake for a now-dismissed lawsuit she brought to overturn her defeat in the state's governor's race.

Driving the news: Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ordered Lake to pay around $33,000 in legal fees to Arizona Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs, the state's secretary of state who won the race by around 17,000 votes and was named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

  • Lake was ordered to compensate expert witnesses that testified in the trial over the lawsuit.
  • Hobbs had requested sanctions against Lake.

The latest: Lake filed a notice of appeal in Arizona Superior Court to challenge the dismissal of her lawsuit.

What they're saying: "There is no doubt that each side believes firmly in its position with great conviction,” Thompson wrote. "The fact that plaintiff [Lake] failed to meet the burden of clear and convincing evidence ... does not equate to a finding that her claims were, or were not, groundless and presented in bad faith."

The big picture: Thompson rejected Lake's legal bid last week, ruling she did not prove that election officials committed misconduct that would've changed the outcome of the race.

  • The dismissal confirmed Hobbs' victory in the race.
  • During her campaign, Lake — a Trump-backed candidate who pushed baseless election denial claims — stated that she would contest an unfavorable outcome in the election.

What's next: Hobbs is set to be sworn in as the governor of Arizona next month.

Go deeper: Kari Lake loses bid to overturn Arizona election results

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