National News

Top Democratic leader at state Capitol accused of 'inappropriate relationship'

Posted November 15, 2017 12:51 p.m. EST

— There are more scandalous accusations coming out of the state Capitol.

A Democratic lawmaker claims his party's highest-ranking member in the House had relationships that should raise some eyebrows.

State Rep. Ray Martinez, D-Phoenix, has alleged that House Minority Leader Rebecca Rios had an improper relationship with a former deputy sergeant-at-arms, whom he claims was later forced to resign.

The two-page ethics complaint also said Rios, at one point, was "involving herself with a lobbyist from Arizona Public Service" (APS), the state's largest power provider.

Martinez, who is serving his first term, also wrote that he was frustrated with Rios because she was planning to endorse another Democrat who was running against him.

Rep. Martinez also claimed he spoke with House Speaker J.D. Mesnard but nothing was done.

Mesnard acknowledged meeting with Martinez but did not investigate because he wasn't asked to.

It is still unknown if the House will follow up with an ethics investigation.

Rios sent Arizona's Family the following statement.

"It's unfortunate that Rep. Martinez is using the process to air a personal grievance.

Most of what he alleges is campaign politics and has no relevance to the business of the House or state. With the rest of the matter, it is a shame that he is trying to use a personal family tragedy to attack and harass me. I'm not going to dignify these untrue allegations with a response."