New Arizona AG Kris Mayes Hires Colleague of Progressive Lawyer Marc Elias as Chief Deputy

Arizona’s new Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes hired progressive attorney Dan Barr as her chief deputy, according to AZ Law and Barr’s LinkedIn profile. However, insiders say the longtime attorney for mainstream media did not resign from the Democratic firm Perkins Coie, where he worked with progressive attorney Marc Elias, until after he started in the position, which would be a conflict of interest, especially if he was involved with any litigation involving the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AAGO).

Jennifer Wright, who recently resigned from her position as the AAGO’s Election Integrity Unit civil attorney due to the change in office leadership, tweeted, “I wonder how long Barr plans to be ‘of counsel’ in defiance of state law?”

She noted in a tweet on Tuesday that Barr already had an AAGO email address. She tried emailing it, and it didn’t bounce. A subsequent message to her own email address generated a automated failed-to-send message, the former attorney from the AG’s office noted.

As of Wednesday, Barr still had an active profile on Perkins Coie’s website, and there is nothing to indicate he no longer works there. On LinkedIn, he posted on approximately January 3, “After more than 37 years at the same law firm, I will [be] leaving Perkins Coie in early January to follow Kris to the Attorney General’s Office as her Chief Deputy Attorney General.”

A.R.S. 41-191(B) states, “The attorney general and his assistants shall devote full time to the duties of the office and shall not directly or indirectly engage in the private practice of law or in an occupation conflicting with such duties,” and provides a list of limited exceptions.

Barr represented Mayes in the election contest filed by her Republican opponent Abe Hamadeh.

After a judge dismissed Hamadeh’s election lawsuit on December 23, 2022, Barr called for Hamadeh’s attorney Tim LaSota to be sanctioned for filing the complaint. Hamadeh has since submitted a motion for a new trial based on discovering additional evidence of voter disenfranchisement.

Barr threatened Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Twitter last year. On February 8, he tweeted, “The only way to deal with cowardly bullies is to punch them in the nose. That’s what @SecretaryHobbs is doing to @GeneralBrnovich here.” His tweet was in response to Hobbs announcing that she was suing Brnovich after he threatened to prosecute her if she temporarily shut down for a required update to an online system that allowed election candidates to collect the signatures they need to qualify for the ballot. Brnovich told The Arizona Sun Times he reported the threat to Twitter, but no action was taken.

Barr’s tweets are full of criticism of Republicans. On December 26, 2022, he tweeted a satire article mocking Kari Lake, stating, “And be honest. You would not be remotely surprised if this was not satire.”

The next day he tweeted a New York Magazine article ridiculing Donald Trump.

Barr intervened in the litigation challenging the Arizona Senate audit of the Maricopa County 2020 election, even though the judge hearing the case has ties to his firm. Judge Daniel Martin worked as an associate attorney for Brown & Bain from 1992 to 1996. Brown & Bain merged with Perkins Coie in 2004.

The Arizona Republican Party produced an ad in 2015 calling Barr “a partisan liberal pretending to be a watchdog.” It showed how Barr’s attacks on Republican Bob Stump, then a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, were even criticized by one of his own clients, The Arizona Republic. The paper stated, “That was out of line and it borders on being a bully.”

The Sun Times asked Perkins Coie and the AAGO for comment but did not receive a response by press time.

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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News NetworkFollow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Dan Barr” by Perkins Coie. Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.



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5 Thoughts to “New Arizona AG Kris Mayes Hires Colleague of Progressive Lawyer Marc Elias as Chief Deputy”

  1. Tom Tucker

    Arizona has become IL and CA. We are lost. We are done, we are finished. Now we get lawlessness, defunding the police. home invasions, you name it. Arm up and be ready to defend yourself, your family and your home.

  2. So, lock him up too. They can be cell mates.

  3. Shirley

    Hobbs & her cronies are trying to turn us into Cslifornia. Well we have news for her & the gang of idiots they paid to get them into office this fight has just begun & we will not allow you to turn us into California. The Lord is watching & you all are in for a big surprise. The time to pay the piper is coming for all of you sooner than you think.

  4. stuman15

    Here we go. Democrats get into political positions in your state and we get flooded with ultra liberal and progressic=ves from all over the country. God help us!

    1. Darrin Boyd

      The election was stolen!