Politician Avoids Jail Because Ariz. Law Gives Him Immunity

Scott Bundgaard was in domestic dispute
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2011 2:59 PM CST
Politician Avoids Jail Because Ariz. Law Gives Him Immunity
Scott Bundgaard, who likes to post photos of himself with more famous politicians (Sarah Palin cropped out at left) on his website, is getting his 15 minutes.   (www.scottbundgaard.com)

Arizona state Sen. Scott Bundgaard got his very own get-out-of-jail-free card Friday night, when cops charged his girlfriend—but not him—with assault because of a screwy Arizona law that prohibits legislators from being arrested while legislature is in session. Seems Bundgaard and Aubry Ballard were on their way home from a Dancing With the Stars fundraiser, and ended up on the side of the road arguing over whether Bundgaard touched another woman inappropriately. Cops say both bore the marks of a struggle, reports CNN, constituting domestic violence under the state's laws.

Arizona's constitution grants legislators immunity "in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace." "I have never inappropriately touched a woman and never would. There was no domestic violence," said Bundgaard in a statement. "I waive any and all 'immunity.' If I did something wrong, charge me." Ballard released a statement of her own: "I'm still trying to get my mind around a few things: Scott's actions, the 17 hours I spent in jail awaiting processing, my bruises, scrapes and soreness and his statements to the media." Though he avoided arrest, Bundgaard could later face charges from the city attorney's office. (More Scott Bundgaard stories.)

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