Was Katie Hobbs, a politician from Arizona, racially twice-convicted?
There is a lot of national interest on the Arizona gubernatorial campaign since Trump-backed Republican challenger Kari Lake has made headlines for saying that the 2020 election was rigged.
Lake, who has been called a “MAGA firebrand” by the media, has made unsubstantiated assertions concerning the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, calling it “corrupt,” “stolen,” and “fixed.”
Katie Hobbs, the Democratic incumbent and current Secretary of State of Arizona, has been the object of a campaign by the opposition Republican Party, which has sent out a series of communications alleging that Hobbs has a racially-motivated criminal record.
In October of 2022, Kari Lake tweeted multiple times that her opponent Katie Hobbs was a “twice-convicted racist.”
Turning Point USA’s founder, Charlie Kirk, agreed with Lake’s assessment.
The GOP nominee has also uploaded a commercial to YouTube with the catchy title “Katie Hobbs: Twice-Convicted Racist.”
Lake, as evidenced by her commercial, is referring to Talonya Adams’ discrimination complaint against the Arizona State Senate, which was filed when Hobbs was the minority leader of that body.
Until 2015, Adams worked as a policy advisor for the Arizona Senate. In 2017, she sued the state court, claiming that her pay was discriminatory because of her color and gender.
Adams was granted $1 million in her first trial in 2019, which concluded that she was sacked from her position with the Senate for complaining about this.
Retaliation happens when an employer (via a manager, supervisor, administrator, or directly) terminates an employee or takes any other adverse action against an employee for engaging in protected behavior, as stated by the United States Department of Labor.
The Senate asked for a retrial, arguing that Adams’s complaint about salary was unrelated to discrimination even though she had produced evidence of it. What it wanted, it got.
According to U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes’s decision, the “crucial issue” in this retrial was whether or whether Adams “complained about differential compensation based on sex or race.”
Adams’ claim of sex-based retribution was upheld by the court, and she was awarded her victory in the retrial.
The conclusion of Rayes’s ruling reads as follows: “In sum, despite Ms. Adams produced no proof that she complained about pay differences based on race, she did testify that she complained about pay inequality based on sex.”
Adams was initially granted $2.75 million, but the amount was reduced to $300,000 due to federal limits.
Hobbs played a pivotal role in the decision to fire Adams. According to reports from AZ Mirror and 12News citing trial testimony, Senate Republican chief of staff Wendy Baldo and Democratic head of staff Jeff Winkler were both engaged in the termination.
According to AZ Central, Hobbs wrote a letter to his campaign supporters in November 2021 in which he admitted responsibility for the termination of Adams but maintained that the decision was not motivated by race or gender.
And in December of that year, 2021, Hobbs released a statement calling Adam’s situation “just another example of the systemic unfairness and racism that have long penetrated every area of our lives, too often in ways that are unnoticeable to folks like me.”
Also, she said “I am aware that my exposure to and knowledge of racism have been limited at times. There have been times when I should have taken a stronger stance for racial equality and failed to do so. For my part, I intend to continue developing my skills and taking responsibility for my actions.”
While it is true that Hobbs was instrumental in the decision to fire Adams, the Arizona State Senate, not Hobbs herself, went on trial for the alleged firing in both cases, she nonetheless accepts responsibility for her role. The woman in question was not a celebrant.
Furthermore, even though Hobbs was the designated defendant, this was a civil dispute and there were no criminal convictions relating to race.
“an adjudication of a criminal defendant’s guilt; particularly, it is the act or judicial process of finding a criminal defendant guilty of a charged offense,” as defined by Cornell Law School.
Thus, Lake’s rhetoric—”twice-convicted racist”—is not true.
Communications director Sarah Robinson called Lake’s assertion a “lie” in an interview with Newsweek.
In spite of Kari Lake’s campaign rhetoric, Katie Hobbs has never been convicted of any racial hate crimes.
In a legal claim against the Arizona State Senate, former employee Talonya Adams, who is African-American, successfully argued that she was retaliated against when she complained about racial and gender-based wage discrimination.
Even though she played a significant role in Adams’ dismissal, Hobbs was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. She insists neither her race nor her gender played a role in her conclusion.
Although the court stated his opinion that Adams “provided no evidence that she complained about wage discrepancies based on race,” a jury found in favor of Adams again and that she experienced retribution after making a complaint based on sex.