Town Council Member-elect Laurin Hendrix amends suit to seek voiding council votes

Judge's gavel
A judge will decide if Laurin Hendrix should become a Gilbert Town Council member now or in January. (Adobe Stock Image)

A judge will decide if Laurin Hendrix should become a Gilbert Town Council member now or in January. (Adobe Stock Image)

On Aug. 21, just a day after a judge denied a similar motion, Town Council Member-elect Laurin Hendrix amended his lawsuit seeking an immediate seat on council such that it also includes a motion to void council votes made without him.

Hendrix further filed for a temporary restraining order to ask that council not be allowed to take any more actions until the court decides who has the seat. Judge Daniel Kiley ruled against that motion at an Aug. 20 hearing.

To date, the only council votes without Hendrix were: to accept Jenn Daniels' resignation as mayor; to accept the voting results from this month; to issue certificates of election to the winners: to appoint Vice Mayor Scott Anderson as mayor; and to have Town Council Member-elect Kathy Tilque fill the vacancy from Anderson’s temporary elevation to mayor.

However, council has regularly scheduled meetings Aug. 25 and Sept. 1, both of which are before the hearing on Hendrix’s suit takes place Sept. 9.

Hendrix filed suit Aug. 17 in Maricopa County Superior Court seeking to immediately take the seat because of Bill Spence’s status as an appointed—not elected—council member. The suit also noted the town was about to appoint a new mayor following the Aug. 11 resignation of Daniels.


Hendrix defeated Spence in the town election this month to fill the remaining two years of former Council Member Eddie Cook’s term.

Cook resigned in February to become Maricopa County assessor, and Spence was appointed to replace him in March. Because of the timing of Cook’s resignation, an election to fill the remainder of the term was required, but the town took the position that Spence’s appointment would last until January, when the August election winners would be seated together.

Judge Daniel Kiley scheduled oral arguments for Sept. 9 and denied a request Aug. 20 from Hendrix, through his attorney, Timothy Lasota, to prevent town council from taking any actions until the matter is resolved.

In the amended suit, Hendrix asks for:

  • An order enjoining the defendants—the town, Town Clerk Lisa Maxwell and Spence—from taking any actions to prevent Hendrix from taking his seat as a member of councilk

  • A declaration that Hendrix may take his council seat at any time in a 90-da period from Maricopa County’s Aug. 13 canvass of the votes; and

  • An order voiding all actions taken by council that included Spence dating back to Aug. 18, the date of Anderson’s and Tilque’s appointments; Spence voted alongside council on the unanimous appointments.


Hendrix further asked to be awarded his taxable costs, attorney’s fees and any other relief the court deems fair.

Council Member Jared Taylor gave a sworn statement in support of Hendrix’s legal memo to the court, also filed Aug. 21, that he has sometimes voted against how he feels on an issue because he knew the other side would prevail in the vote. He said council members sometimes do this to promote a view of unity among council members.

Taylor further stated that if Hendrix should have been seated, he would have liked to hear the thoughts of Hendrix on the appointments. He was open, he said, to being persuaded by Hendrix, and his votes conceivably could have been different.

A hearing on the temporary restraining order has not been scheduled as of early afternoon Aug. 21.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


MOST RECENT

Judge's gavel
Court awards Gilbert Town Council Member Laurin Hendrix some of his attorney’s fees from lawsuit against town

A judge has awarded Gilbert Town Council Member Laurin Hendrix some, but not all, of his attorney’s fees and costs associated with his lawsuit against the town about the timing of his seating on council.

Fry's Marketplace is the anchor tenant for the Post at Cooley Station development. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)
See new businesses at Post at Cooley Station and more Phoenix-area news

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Phoenix area.

Higley USD
Higley USD sets plan for return to remote if numbers rise on campuses

Higley USD will not return to remote learning districtwide unless the state orders it, but the district has developed a plan for specific campuses to do so if COVID-19 cases spike there.

Doug Ducey
Teachers to be among first to get vaccine in Arizona, Ducey says

Gov. Doug Ducey issued three executive orders Dec. 2 to further address the coronavirus pandemic.

Matty G's Steakburgers & Spirits
Matty G's opens sports-themed grill in Gilbert

The neighborhood grill specializes in in burgers and hot dogs, and its interior is adorned with sports memorabilia.

Gilbert Public Schools
Gilbert Public Schools poised to return to hybrid learning Dec. 7

A final decision on such a move will be made Dec. 3 based on what Maricopa County’s dashboard says about coronavirus transmission risk in Maricopa County and within GPS boundaries.

Gilbert Town Council
Divided Gilbert Town Council approves 2-way radios for ambulances

The approval during a short council meeting allows an expenditure of $146,000 to purchase the radios.

Here are the coronavirus updates you need to know in Chandler. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
COVID-19 cases in Gilbert, Chandler rising and more coronavirus news

Read the latest coronavirus news from Gilbert and Chandler.

Fry's Marketplace is the anchor tenant for the Post at Cooley Station development. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)
Businesses open at Post at Cooley Station in Gilbert and more local news

Read recent business and community news from Chandler and Gilbert.

Fry's Marketplace, Post at Cooley Station
5 businesses now open or coming soon to Post at Cooley Station

The Post at Cooley Station opened this month, with more stores soon to come online.

Here is what you need to know today about coronavirus in Gilbert. (Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19: 228 new cases reported in Gilbert Dec. 4

Here is what you need to know about coronavirus cases in Gilbert

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
Number of people in ICU units with COVID-19 up more than 400% since end of September

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona