California Recall Candidate John Cox Served With Subpoena During Debate

California gubernatorial candidate John Cox was interrupted during a public debate on Tuesday night by a private investigator who served a subpoena.

Cox, a Republican who is was among 46 candidates running to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a September recall election, took part in the debate at Sacramento's Guild Theater. Former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer and Assemblymember Kevin Kiley also participated.

But Cox was interrupted as he began to introduce himself to the crowd by Aman Choudhry from Choudhry Investigative Services, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Choudhry shouted over Cox as he started to speak, telling the candidate "you've been served." He then threw court documents towards the stage before being escorted out.

WATCH: CA Republican gubernatorial candidate in recall served subpoena during debate pic.twitter.com/jUue7ozmTh

— Melody Gutierrez (@MelodyGutierrez) August 18, 2021

The court papers direct Cox, a multimillionaire real estate investor, to pay fees to a consulting firm his campaign worked with during his 2018 bid for governor.

The February 2020 court order directed Cox to pay nearly $100,000. But Cox, who lost the 2018 tussle by a landslide to Newsom, has previously disputed the figure.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Cox continued with his opening remarks after the interruption.

He later referred to the incident as "a garbage thing," the newspaper reported. "It's one creditor who didn't get paid from the 2018 campaign because he didn't deserve to be," Cox added.

He tweeted a photo from the debate, writing: "At the @SacPressClub to talk about my plans to slash taxes, eliminate homelessness, and jumpstart the economy. California can do better than @GavinNewsom. As a CPA and outsider, I'll get results."

Some Twitter users responded with a clip of the moment Cox was served, including one who wrote: "Pay your bills, looooozer."

Choudhry told the Bee that he came to the debate because it was the "best place" to serve the court documents.

At the @SacPressClub to talk about my plans to slash taxes, eliminate homelessness, and jumpstart the economy. California can do better than @GavinNewsom. As a CPA and outsider, I’ll get results. pic.twitter.com/l9FSX6kSZZ

— John Cox (@BeastJohnCox) August 18, 2021

"Mr. Cox has been avoiding service and is ordered to appear in San Diego Superior Court regarding this case," Choudhry said. "He's been ducking and dodging courts and not showing up. He thinks he's above the law.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Daniel F. Link ruled in February that Cox's campaign failed to pay Sandler-Innocenzi nearly $55,000 for political ads and about $43,000 in attorney's costs, interest and other fees, according to the Times.

Jim Innocenzi previously told the newspaper that he paid the California-based cast and crew for the Cox campaign ads out of his own pocket . He said he was never reimbursed though Cox refunded himself more than $66,000.

Cox's former campaign manager Tim Rosales told The San Diego Union-Tribune last year that Sandler-Innocenzi had submitted invoices "after the fact" and claimed the firm had overcharged for its services. "We thought they were way out of line in terms of cost," Rosales said.

Cox's campaign and Sandler-Innocenzi have been contacted for comment.

California Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox
California Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox speaks during a campaign rally at Miller Regional Park on May 04, 2021 in Sacramento, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images