Sen. Kelly Townsend withdraws request for investigation in Pima County vaccine mandate

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Friday, January 7, 2022 - 9:58am
Updated: Friday, January 7, 2022 - 11:24am

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Kelly Townsend
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Kelly Townsend

Arizona Republican Sen. Kelly Townsend from Mesa withdrew her request for Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate Pima County’s religious exemptions for their COVID-19 vaccine mandates. 

The county’s mandate does not automatically grant an exemption for employees who claim getting a vaccination would go against their sincerely held religious beliefs. The state law she was filing under only provided 30 days for Brnovich to investigate, which expired Friday. 

Townsend says that was not enough time for there to be a proper investigation for all employees who claimed religious exemption. 

Pima County’s law requires employees working with vulnerable populations in jails and senior citizens or those with compromised immune systems. 

Of the 2,100 employees who fall under that, 200 were set to be terminated Friday for not complying, but it is not yet clear how many people might lose their jobs.