After losing in a landslide to Peoria Pine District Councilwoman Denette Dunn, Cordero Delgadillo filed a lawsuit alleging the council seat was “won by Dunn via illegitimate and unconstitutional means.”
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 4, and amended Oct. 8, was dismissed Oct. 17.
“The Court finds plaintiff/contestant (Delgadillo) failed to meet his burden to establish any ground to invalidate the election,” wrote Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry K. Stephens.
“The evidence does not show that the city of Peoria or defendant Dunn engaged in misconduct, improper influence or election violations.”
Although his wide-ranging allegations of abuse were shot down, in a minor victory for Delgadillo, the judge ruled he did not have to pay the city of Peoria’s legal fees.
Tim LaSota, attorney for Dunn, called it “a frivolous lawsuit. The allegations are ridiculous.”
Delgadillo, an attorney who specializes in intellectual property and data security, said, “The election lawsuit went quickly, especially relative to other civil lawsuits that often take much longer than a few weeks.”
In an email, he wrote that he lacked “time and resources (monetary and otherwise) to succeed on the expedited timelines … II nonetheless stand firmly behind my decision to utilize the legal system in an attempt to improve the integrity of local elections.”
In his lawsuit, Delgadillo took exception to the city of Peoria mailing a postcard to Pine District voters, notifying them that Randal Rains had withdrawn from running for the open seat and that votes for Rains “would not count toward him being elected as the city of Peoria Pine District Councilmember.”
Delgadillo said, “It was determined by the Court that the spirit of the law was followed even if not the letter of the law was not.
“I respectfully disagree with that determination, but I will not appeal the decision.”
Dunn’s attorney LaSota previously called Delgadillo’s wide-ranging allegations “cheap politics.”
Delgadillo does not see it that way.
“All said and done, I consider this lawsuit a small victory towards ensuring election integrity, and I hope the lawsuit encourages other voters to file similar legal actions if they experience suspicious activities or misconduct during an election,” Delgadillo said.