The Arizona audit (screen capture)

A former GOP congressman who's been appointed to resolve a major dispute concerning Arizona's election audit attended a pro-Donald Trump rally on Nov. 4 where Republicans pushed false claims of election fraud.

On Monday, Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo told the local CBS affiliate he finds it "very troubling" that former Rep. John Shadegg was appointed "special master" as part of an agreement between the county and the GOP-controlled state Senate. The agreement resolved a dispute over access to routers and other election equipment, after the Senate threatened to withhold $700 million in funding for Maricopa County if officials didn't hand over the devices.

Shadegg reportedly will hire his own team of experts to examine the equipment, keeping it out of the hands of Cyber Ninjas, the private firm that conducted the audit.

However, Gallardo, the only member of the board who voted against the agreement, noted that Shadegg was on stage during a Phoenix rally one day after the election where Kelli Ward, the Arizona GOP chair, vowed that Republicans would not allow the election to be "stolen" from Donald Trump.

In fact, in video from the rally aired by the CBS station, Shadegg can be seen whispering in the ear of one of the speakers, former Trump campaign official David Bossie.

"Standing on the same stage as those who were advocating for Trump, now being in charge to have an independent review, an impartial review, it's very problematic and very troubling," Gallardo told the station. "You want someone with the highest impartial degree and John Shadegg just does not fit that role."

Another Maricopa County supervisor, Bill Gates, called the agreement between the county and the state Senate "a business decision," according to local radio station KTAR.

"So if we don't turn over the routers, we lose so much money that it shuts the county down. Or if we do turn the routers over, then that exposes sensitive information," Gates said. "And also, they put the county out of operation without those routers for probably months. So we made a business decision that it was better to waive the $2.8 million claim we had against the state Senate than to basically put the county out of operation."

KTAR added that, "Senate President Karen Fann called the agreement a 'huge win' even though Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based lead contractor of the audit, won't get direct access to the routers."

Watch the CBS station's report below.


Maricopa County vote audit still questioned www.youtube.com