An Arizona Lawmaker Thought Speeding Was OK Because of His Legislative Immunity

An Arizona politician has been caught on camera bragging that he's exempt from the law. The body-cam video, first shared by Parker Live Online, shows a sheriff's deputy speaking with state Rep. Paul Mosley (R–Lake Havasu City) after pulling him over for speeding.

"I informed Mosley that 97 mph in a 55 mph zone is considered criminal speed," the deputy wrote in his written report. "Mosley stated he was just in a hurry to get home to surprise his family in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Mosley also told me that I should just let him go and that I shouldn't waste anymore of my time dealing with him due to his immunity as a government official."

In the video, the deputy asks Mosley to watch his speed regardless of the reason. Mosley responds, "Well, I was doing 120 earlier." He then continued to brag about his vehicle's ability to speed and why he preferred the mode of transportation seen in the video over his Prius. The deputy asked Mosley if he sped just because he knew he could get away with it. Mosley answered that he broke the law because he was trying to get home.

After a brief argument about speeding, the deputy walks away without appearing to give Mosley a speeding ticket. A search of traffic violations by the Associated Press does not show Mosley receiving a ticket that day.

The legislative immunity that Mosley touted is found in Article 4, Part 2, Section 6 of the Arizona Constitution. It states, "Members of the legislature shall be privileged from arrest in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, and they shall not be subject to any civil process during the session of the legislature, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement of each session."

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard criticized Mosley's use of immunity, saying, "Nothing short of an emergency justifies that kind of speeding, and assertions of immunity in that situation seem outside the intent of the constitutional provision regarding legislative immunity."

The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police also responded by rescinding its endorsement of Mosley: "Potentially lethal speeding isn't a joke. We will not stand with those who think it's acceptable or funny to risk the lives of others while behind the wheel of a lethal weapon."

Mosley's colleagues, both Republican and Democrat, have also responded negatively to the video. Rep. Mark Finchem (R–Oro Valley) filed an ethics complaint, adding that the "misbehavior" needed "to be called out as unbecoming."

On Thursday, Mosley apologized for his conduct in a Facebook post:

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