Ariz. State Sen. Bundgaard Avoids Arrest thanks to "Legislative Immunity"

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

An Arizona state senator escaped arrest after an alleged domestic violence dispute because of an obscure law granting him "legislative immunity."

Scott Bundgaard and his girlfriend Aubry Ballard were driving home from a charity event Friday night when they got into a fight. It seems Bundgaard danced with another woman to raise money for kidney treatment, and Ballard wasn't too happy about it.

Bundgaard said the 34-year-old Ballard punched him in the face and threw his clothes out of the window. He pulled the car over and the fight went on. Phoenix Police Department spokesman Sergeant Tommy Thompson said both of them had marks on their bodies showing they had been in a physical altercation.

When police tried to arrest them, Bundgaard cited "legislative immunity," which allows senators to avoid arrest for certain crimes while the state legislature is in session. Police found his claim to be valid, but the case was still submitted to prosecutors for review.

Ballard was arrested for domestic violence assault.

Bundgaard released a statement, claiming innocence:

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. I waive any and all "legislative immunity." If I did something wrong, charge me. I did not.

Ballard issued a statement of her own:

Last night was the absolute worst night of my life ... 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.