PHOENIX (KSAZ) - On Friday, state officials say Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed an executive order on legislative immunity, following recent controversy surrounding the use of it.
The move comes after a state lawmaker, identified as Paul Mosley, was seen on camera telling a sheriff's deputy who pulled him over that he had been going 120 mph (193 kph). A report said State Rep. Mosley told the deputy that he shouldn't waste his time reporting the incident because he has legislative immunity.
State Rep. Mosley has since issued an apology on his verified Facebook page, but he has lost an endorsement from the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police as a result of the controversy.
"No one is above the law, and certainly not politicians," said Gov. Ducey, in a statement. "Public safety must come first, and we have a responsibility to ensure that our officers are supported in enforcing the law, and have the tools, under the Constitution, to hold all bad actors accountable."
According to the statement, the executive order instructs peace officers employed by the state to consider any criminal violation that endangers the safety of another, including, but not limited to criminal speeding, reckless driving and DUI, as "breach of the peace" under Title 4, Section 6, Part 2 of the Arizona Constitution.
The part of the constitution cited by the executive order, according to the Arizona State Legislature's website, refers to legislative immunity. The section states that members of the legislature shall be privileged from arrest in all cases, except "treason, felony, and breach of the peace", and that such protection is in effect during a legislative sections, and "for 15 days next before the commencement of each session".
In the past, the state legislature has issued materials on the application of legislative immunity. According to the 2003 edition of the Arizona Legislative Manual that is posted on the state legislature's website legislative immunity generally applies to "all types of legislative actions relating to introducing, developing and voting for legislation".