Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs says her predecessor and top staffers deleted public records before they left office last month.
The Arizona Capitol Times reports Hobbs, a Democrat, alerted state attorneys earlier this month after her administration tried to fulfill a public records request seeking communications between former Secretary of State Michele Reagan and her staffers.
Reagan, a Republican, says she did not intentionally delete or destroy emails, noting that all emails should be backed up.
Hobbs' spokeswoman, C. Murphy Hebert, says staff has searched for backups.
She says some records were found, but there were enough missing that the administration was "surprised to the point that we felt we needed to do some due diligence."
Under Arizona law, it's a felony for officials to knowingly destroy public records.