A pre-trial hearing for Rep. David Lee Cook, (R-Globe), is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 before Justice of the Peace Cecil P. Ash, in North Mesa Justice Court, 1837 S. Mesa Dr., Ste. B103.
Cook was originally scheduled for arraignment Jan. 3 when, on Dec. 21, 2018, defense attorney Lawrence I. Kazan, with the Phoenix-based firm of Debus, Kazan and Westerhausen, filed a not-guilty plea and a request for a pre-trial conference.
The Jan. 3 court date was vacated, and Cook’s pretrial conference was scheduled for Jan. 23, said Communications and Public Information Officer Scott Davis, with the Maricopa County Justice Courts.
“Then that week, the pre-trial conference was continued to Feb. 20 at 9 a.m.,” he said.
As of press time, Cook had not responded to messages sent to him by the Silver Belt.
In a Dec. 20, 2018 Facebook post, Cook had stated, “I didn’t request or receive any sort of special treatment as a result of holding office, as it should be. I’ll be facing a judge and very real consequences, which I’ll keep you all updated on as they occur.”
As of press time, no case updates had been posted to Cook’s Facebook page.
Subject to disciplinary action after his Dec. 19 arrest for driving under the influence (DUI), Cook lost his membership on the State House Public Safety Committee.
In a Dec. 21 press release, House Speaker-elect Rusty Bowers, (R-Mesa) said that he had also disbanded the County Infrastructure Committee that Cook was supposed to chair.
Cook would remain on the House Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee, he said.
While Cook had the ability to be a talented legislator, “he clearly has some personal challenges that he needs to confront,” Bowers said.
Bowers said he was hopeful the incident would serve as a wake-up call to Cook and that he would “do the work necessary to earn back the trust of his colleagues and constituents — and he has committed to do so.”
Cook was arrested on DUI charges, including extreme DUI, shortly after 11:20 p.m. Dec. 19.
He was initially charged with DUI-liquor/drugs/vapors/combo; DUI with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08 or more and extreme DUI, with a BAC of .15 to .19, according to the DPS report.
A state trooper had stopped Cook’s truck on Loop 202, near McDowell Road, for “multiple occurrences of unsafe lane usage,” said DPS Media Specialist Bart Graves.
Cook told the trooper that he was trying to pick it up the cellphone he had dropped on the floor, thus the reason for the swerving.
He handed the trooper his insurance card and registration, followed by his Arizona House of Representatives identification card. When the trooper asked Cook for his driver’s license a second time, Cook complied.
Then, when the trooper asked Cook to step outside, he replied, “No, I’m not getting out.”
The trooper told Cook that he needed to step out of the truck to verify that Cook was telling the truth and was safe to drive. Cook replied, “Do you know what you’re doing, son? You’re making a mistake,” then said, “What do you want me to do?”
Asked to consent to a field sobriety test, Cook replied, “No, I’m not going to do that.” The trooper told Cook that if he was unwilling to comply, the trooper would take him to the jail for other tests.
At first Cook said, “Why do we need to do that?” then said, “Fine, what do you want me to do?”
In his report, the trooper called Cook “uncompliant” during the field sobriety test. Cook later became argumentative, even raising his voice to the trooper.
A second state trooper who had arrived on scene talked to Cook, trying to calm him down and was successful doing so, though Cook remained uncooperative, it stated.
Once arrested, Cook was taken to the station, where a trooper advised him to watch his head while getting out of the patrol unit. Cook replied, “I’m fine. Don’t worry, you’ll get yours,” the report stated.
Later, when served with the order suspending his driving privileges, Cook said, “It’s fine. My wife works at the MVD.”
At 3:17 a.m., Cook was released to wife Dana.
In his Dec. 20 Facebook post, Cook described himself as lucky to be pulled over and get a DUI, as there was no accident and no one got hurt, etc.
He said the DPS officers involved had behaved professionally and did their job well.
Cook apologized to all, saying that he holds himself to a higher standard and has let everyone down — friends and family alike.
A member of the state House of Representatives since 2017, Cook represents Arizona’s Eighth Legislative District, which includes portions of Gila and Pinal counties.