Feds indict man for threatening Maricopa County elected official

Walter Lee Hoornstra is accused of leaving a threatening voicemail on the personal mobile phone of an elected official in Maricopa County final May.

PHOENIX — Editor’s observe: The above video aired throughout a earlier broadcast.

A Missouri man has been indicted for allegedly threatening an elected official in Maricopa County final year as Republicans led a prolonged overview of the county’s ballots from the 2020 election. 

Walter Lee Hoornstra, 50, is accused of threatening the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office by warning an elected official he’d “never make it to your next little board meeting” if he did not cooperate with the Arizona Senate’s overview of the county’s ballots. 

On May 19, 2021, Hoornstra allegedly left a voicemail on the elected official’s personal mobile phone that acknowledged:

“So I see you’re for fair and competent elections, that’s what it says here on your homepage for your recorder position you’re trying to fly here. But you call things unhinged and insane lies when there’s a forensic audit going on. You need to check yourself. You need to do your [expletive] job right because other people from other states are watching your ass. You [expletive] renege on this deal or give them any more troubles, your ass will never make it to your next little board meeting.”

The message was left a few days after Maricopa County officers submitted a important letter to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, urging her to name off an audit of the county’s ballots from the 2020 presidential election.

RELATED: ‘Time to finish this’: Maricopa County’s blistering letter urges Arizona Republicans to name off audit

 “We implore you to recognize the obvious truth,” the letter said. “Your ‘auditors’ are in way over their heads. They do not have the experience necessary to conduct an audit of an election. It is inevitable that they will arrive at questionable conclusions. It is time to end this.”

Fann spearheaded a partisan-led overview of the county’s ballots after President Joe Biden narrowly beat Donald Trump, changing into the primary Democratic candidate to win Maricopa County in 72 years.

The controversial, months-long overview nonetheless decided Biden had defeated Trump within the county. But the overview resulted in a contentious dispute between county and state officers over how Arizona conducts its elections. 

County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, thanked the FBI for taking motion on Hoornstra’s alleged threats and stated his office has been subjected to “plenty” of different threats. 

“And yet, violent threats and actions continue to be normalized, or at least swept under the rug, by many ‘leaders’ in society,” Richer wrote in an announcement.

If convicted of his fees, Hoornstra might be sentenced to a number of years in jail.

RELATED: Man accused of creating bomb risk at Arizona Secretary of State’s Office

RELATED: Karen Fann’s data subpoenaed by FBI for probe into 2020 election

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