Scott Bundgaard Apologizes to Fellow State Senators After Marking Up Girlfriend on Freeway and Avoiding Arrest Due to "Immunity"
But if police are correct that Bundgaard cried "immunity" after police showed up at the scene, he probably should also apologize to Arizonans for abusing a law clearly intended to prevent political corruption. Article IV, Part 2, Section 6 of the state Constitution was designed to stop powerful, shady politicans from spurring the arrest of a lawmaker whose vote might be crucial on a particular matter.
Declaring immunity after a domestic squabble on the freeway was a Bung-hole move that allowed the lawmaker to drive home and nurse his black eye while police booked his sweetheart into a jail cell.
Image: Arizona Kidney Foundation Scott Bundgaard, an Arizona State Senator from Glendale, is seen here dancing with Rebecca Jowers for a charity fundraiser.
Bundgaard was a convicted felon as a teen; he stole car stereos from the store where he worked. His rights to vote and hold office were later restored, and Bundgaard was elected first as a state Representative in 1994, then as a state senator in 1996. He was out of office from 2003 to 2010, when he returned to the senate. New Times has long followed his exploits as a stereotypical Arizona right-winging lawmaker, from his push to defy a federal ban on ozone-destroying Freon to accidentally embarrassing Democratic lawmaker Kyrsten Sinema.
As you'll read from the press releases below by police and Bundgaard's buddy, PR guy Jason Rose, Bundgaard's girlfriend, Aubry Ballard, allegedly started the fight after she accused Bundgaard of getting too close to his partner at a charity dance rehearsal. Bundgaard admits the woman hit her knees while he yanked her out of his car.
What a guy.
Police news release:
At about 11:19 p.m. on February 25, 2011, Phoenix Police Officers responded to a call of a man pulling a woman out of a gold vehicle, which was stopped northbound next to the median on State Route 51, just south of Cactus. When officers arrived, they determined that the driver was Scott Bundgaard and the passenger was his girlfriend Aubry Ballard. Through their investigation, they found that both individuals had marks on them indicating they had been involved in a physical altercation, which constituted an act of Domestic Violence on the part of both individuals. Both were taken into custody and for safety purposes, they were moved to a nearby parking lot off of the freeway, along with their vehicle.
After being taken into custody, Mr. Bundgaard informed the officers that he is an Arizona State Senator and as such, is immune from arrest, while the legislature is in session, which it currently is. Based upon Article IV, Part 2, Section 6 of the Arizona State Constitution, Mr. Bundgaard was correct and not arrested at that time however, the case will be submitted to the prosecutor's office for review.
Ms. Ballard was booked into the Maricopa County Jail, charged with One Count of Assault because this was a Domestic Violence situation.
STATEMENT BY ARIZONA STATE SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER REGARDING AZCENTRAL.COM STORY ABOUT ERRONEOUS 'DOMESTIC VIOLENCE' REPORTS
PHOENIX, ARIZONA. FEBRUARY 26, 2011.
"Shame on an azcentral.com reporter for posting a story without even phoning me first. Here's what might have been learned if that reporter had the decency and professionalism to do so. Last night, I was a participant in the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona 'Dancing With The Stars' charitable event to raise money for this fine organization. Other participants included Governor Brewer's Chief of Staff Eileen Klein, Gallagher and Kennedy Partner Mike Gallagher, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce and his wife, and numerous other business, political and community leaders.
I am proud to have helped raise thousands of dollars for this charity, so much so that my girlfriend, parents and other family members were in attendance. While I may not have won the competition it was a wonderful tonight for a wonderful cause. Perhaps my fault was failing to ask my girlfriend to meet with Kurt Warner's wife about how to understand and support a spouse or partner for a 'Dancing With The Stars' competition.
Upon leaving the event I was accused of inappropriately touching my dancing partner, in front of my parents and family mind you, and she proceeded to throw my clothes and other things out of my car on a freeway as I took her home. I stopped on the freeway to retrieve these items. As I was doing so my girlfriend yelled that she was going to take my car and moved into the driver's seat. I immediately returned to the car and asked her to get out. She refused. I had no choice but to pull her from the driver's seat which resulted in marks on her knees. I had also had no choice but to stop her from punching me and risking highway safety, all of which resulted in a black eye for me and a busted lip (photos available upon request). The authorities arrived as I tried to retrieve my belongings from the highway. I have never inappropriately touched a woman and never would. Period. I was not intoxicated. There was no 'domestic violence.' Such conduct is offensive to me as it should be to all people. I waive any and all 'legislative immunity.' If I did something wrong, charge me. I did not.
While a personal matter, I understand the public interest and apologize to any and all for what has taken place. I will not hide behind statements. This was done so to set the record straight. I am available for any and all interviews and for any and all questions."
JOINT STATEMENT BY STATE SENATOR SCOTT BUNDGAARD AND AUBREY BALLARD REGARDING FRIDAY NIGHT
PHOENIX, ARIZ. FEBRUARY 27, 2011.
"We want to jointly apologize for allowing a private matter to interrupt the public - and especially for taking up the valuable time of law enforcement. The police officers who responded deserve thanks for their sensitivity and compassion.
We have cared for each other in the past; we wish the best for each other in the future. Like most relationships, ours has had some ups and downs, but it has always been based on our Christian faith and our respect for one another. With that in mind, we intend to go our separate ways now and put what happened Friday night and Saturday in the past.
Obviously, we're both tired and embarrassed. Each of us would like to reclaim some privacy. We hope the media and the public can respect that decision. Thank you for your understanding."
-STATE SENATOR SCOTT BUNDGAARD and AUBREY BALLARD