ICYMI: Kari Lake Hired A Convicted Criminal With ‘Murder-for-Hire’ Past Who Assaulted Law Enforcement
Katie Hobbs calls out Lake for yet again failing to support law enforcement
PHOENIX – Following a new report revealing Kari Lake employed a convicted criminal and heroin dealer who assaulted a law enforcement officer and once plotted to kill an FBI informant, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is calling on her lawless opponent to denounce her staffer’s attacks on law enforcement and commit to not using taxpayer dollars to bankroll violent felons if elected governor.
A recent article by the Daily Beast unearthed new information on Lake staffer Kenneth Ulibarri – who also pleaded guilty to battery against a peace officer and heroin distribution – showing he had been hired to manage “Latino Engagement” efforts for Lake’s campaign. The story adds to coverage by Salon from last February, which revealed Ulibarri was paid by Lake’s campaign and made multiple appearances on the trail, though his official status was until now unknown. Lake’s campaign has since altered its accounting method to no longer disclose the names of its individual employees.
“While Kari Lake likes to pay lip service to supporting law enforcement, her actions prove that it’s nothing more than talk, and she can’t be trusted to support law enforcement or public safety,” Hobbs said. “If she is comfortable hiring and campaigning with people with a criminal record of this extent, it is terrifying to imagine what her administration would look like as governor.”
The Daily Beast article also highlights the hypocrisy of Lake’s “Back the Blue” claims. Beyond hiring a convicted criminal charged with plotting to kill a law enforcement agent, Lake is also on the hook for publicly calling to “disband the FBI” and proposing extreme abortion laws that Arizona sheriffs say would put pressure on already stretched law enforcement personnel.
Below is an excerpt from the Daily Beast article:
Arizona Republican governor candidate Kari Lake has made her support for law enforcement a centerpiece of her campaign—but her campaign also employs an interesting character: a convicted criminal who pleaded guilty to battery against a peace officer and who once plotted to kill an FBI informant.
The staffer, Kenneth Ulibarri, previously campaigned with Lake, Salon reported in February. But his official status with the campaign was not known until now. Ulibarri confirmed in a Tuesday phone call with The Daily Beast that the Lake campaign had hired him to manage its “Latino Engagement” efforts.
The Lake campaign did not reply to a request for comment.
According to a superseding federal indictment, the Justice Department alleged in 2014 that Ulibarri had “attempted to kill” an FBI informant to stop the informant from testifying at a cocaine distribution and money laundering trial. Ulibarri later admitted in a plea agreement that he had in fact told an undercover FBI informant—while trying to sell him heroin—that Ulibarri knew that the first informant was working for the feds and that he and others “were hiring a hitman to kill” him, for $20,000.
While Ulibarri’s official status with the Lake campaign was previously unknown, he had appeared on Lake’s 2021 annual campaign finance filing, receiving a payment of $2,000, Salon reported, and has made a number of appearances on the trail.
The Lake campaign has since changed its accounting method and no longer discloses the names of individual employees.