Tom Horne Looks to Settle Latest Political Scandal

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Tom Horne Looks to Settle Latest Political Scandal

Disgraced Attorney General Tom Horne’s lawyers have reportedly reached a settlement with a former employee over her claims that she was targeted because of her political beliefs and for tipping off the FBI about his illegal campaign coordination.

Meg Hinchey is a former lead investigator with the attorney general’s office and previously filed a lawsuit against Tom Horne alleging that Horne and his employees engaged in an ongoing campaign to ruin Hinchey’s law enforcement career.

Republican Attorney General candidate Mark Brnovich is calling on Horne to disclose to the taxpayers the details of the settlement before any final deal is signed by the state.

“The public has a right to know what went on inside the attorney general’s office,” Brnovich said. “Did Horne seek retribution against his former employee and now he’s reached a settlement to keep that same employee quiet? Will taxpayer money or a taxpayer-funded insurance account be used to pay this settlement?”

Brnovich added: “Tom Horne is paid to uphold the state’s laws but increasingly finds himself on the other side of the law. We need an attorney general who works with law enforcement, not one who has his personal lawyer on speed dial.”

Horne is also trying to quietly settle a serious campaign finance violation that could cost him and an employee more than $1.2 million in fines.

ABOUT MARK BRNOVICH

Raised in Arizona, Mark Brnovich is a graduate of Arizona State University. After law school, Mark prosecuted felonies in the Gang/Repeat Offender Bureau of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and worked as an Assistant Attorney General for Arizona and as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Mark also served his country as the Command Staff Judge Advocate for the 153rd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arizona Army National Guard for eight years. Mark met his wife Susan while both were working as prosecutors. They live in Phoenix with their two daughters.

For more information, please visit www.Mark4AZ.com

Will Mark Brnovich Challenge Tom Horne in Republican Primary for Attorney General?

The Arizona Capitol Times is reporting that State Gaming Director Mark Brnovich  submitted his resignation to Governor Brewer on Tuesday, September 3, possibly paving the way for a run as Attorney General in the Republican primary. Brnovich would challenge current embattled incumbent Tom Horne.

Brnovich was appointed to the position in 2009. He has extensive law enforcement experience including stints in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, US Attorney’s Office and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. He also worked as an attorney at the Goldwater Institute.

Brnovich (reportedly pronounced “burn-o-vich”) may  be Tom Horne’s worst nightmare. A well-respected conservative with more than a decade of prosecutorial experience, rumors are already flying that Brnovich is being supported by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Whether Brnovich runs or not, most pundits agree that Tom Horne cannot win re-election given recent controversies regarding his personal and public life.

Horne is currently being investigated for illegally coordinating with an independent expenditure committee during the 2010 campaign, and is also facing a civl suit from a former employee. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery flat out stated that Tom Horne had “broken the law.” In late 2012, the FBI revealed details of their multi-month investigation, including allegations thatHorne was engaging in an extramarital affair with a coworker.

The AZ Capitol Times is also reporting that Brnovich reserved the website address www.mark4ag.com on August 23. Which is probably a much better choice than “www.brnovich4ag.com.”

More from the Arizona Republic: 
Brnovich, a Republican, confirmed to The Arizona Republic he is considering a bid to be the state’s top attorney. If he runs, he would take the unusual step of challenging an incumbent in his own party — GOP Attorney General Tom Horne — in a primary election.

“I am seriously considering running for attorney general becuase I believe Arizonans deserve an attorney general with integrity, commitment and experience to do the right thing for the right reasons—not for personal or political reasons,” Brnovich said.

(Reposted from Western Free Press)

State Representative Steve Montenegro’s statement on today’s Supreme Court decision re: Arizona’s Prop 200 and Voter Registration

Montenegro-Logo---SOS2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 17th, 2013

PHOENIX – “It is common sense that since you must be a citizen to vote, you should be required to show proof of citizenship before you register.  Prop 200 was a common-sense solution to this problem and I commend Attorney General Tom Horne for defending the law.

I am troubled by Justice Scalia’s assertion that Arizona still has ways of getting the job done by asking permission from the Elections Assistance Commission.  He pointed out that in recent years Louisiana requested and was granted such permission.  Yet today, that commission has no members, making it impossible for Arizona to seek such relief.
 Should the commission ever regain voting members, Arizona’s Secretary of State should move to immediately secure such permission.

In the meantime I will continue to advocate for protecting the integrity of our election system, from voter registration to ballot handling to vote tabulating.  Arizona’s voters, like voters everywhere, deserve fair, honest, and transparent elections.”

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Attorney General Tom Horne, Kathleen Winn Respond to Order Requiring Compliance

Response shows there was no coordination

Attached is a 9 page response to the Order Requiring Compliance in the matter of Tom Horne and Kathleen Winn. Here are the salient points:

  1. Under applicable law, Horne and Winn were free to communicate, as long as it was not about the independent expenditure, which it was not.
  2. Winn, who had over 25 years in the real estate business, was Horne’s principle advisor with respect to a complex real estate transaction which closed on October 29, 2010.
  3. The order falsely claims that phones calls between Winn and Horne spiked between October 13 and October 28, 2010, when the independent ad was being developed. (See false and misleading chart, page 11 of Order, Exhibit 4 to Response.) In fact, the FBI transcripts show that the ad was completed on October 21, and that the spike in phone calls occurred after the ad was completed, during the intense period of the closing of the real estate transaction. (See Exhibit 4, page 2, with corrections to the false and misleading chart.)
  4. The entire case is based on this kind of misleading speculation. There is no direct evidence of coordination, because there was none. This is shown in the 9 pages attached, and if necessary, will be proven in the legal proceedings.

View Attachment

Tom Horne: Claims Are Fabricated

PHOENIX (June 7, 2012) – Attorney General Tom Horne has released the following statement:

The charges are false, absurd, and completely without merit, and I’m confident the courts will see it that way.

This is an attack from a partisan Democrat who enjoyed working under Democrats (as shown in the “Statement of Tom Horne…” attachment), and resented working for a Republican who was elected by the people of Arizona.

It is sad that good and honest people have to be dragged through the mud.

A more detailed statement is linked below.

Horne Memo to AG Staff

Hinchey Notice of Claim

Statement of Tom Horne

AG Tom Horne Statement on Supreme Court SB 1070 Hearing

Today’s hearing went well. The Obama Administration took the outrageous step of suing one of the 50 states for trying to enforce federal law. Arizona has been hit disproportionately hard by illegal immigration and the state had no choice but to pass SB 1070 to protect our own citizens.

I have read the transcript of today’s SB 1070 hearing in the US Supreme Court. Section 2, the most important of the 4 sections of SB1070 which are being challenged, appears to have the support of Liberal as well as Conservative Justices, and mainly with a large unanimous vote. Section 2 requires Police Officers to engage in a lawful arrest or stop, and to have reasonable suspicion, to inquire with ICE about whether the person is in this country legally. Even two of the most Liberal Justices, Sotamayor and Breyer, asked questions indicating they may vote to hold that section of the law Constitutional.

The lawyer for Arizona pointed out that a Phoenix Police officer had been shot by a suspect who had been accused of attempted murder in El Salvador, had been pulled over three times before encountering this police officer, but had never had his immigration status checked. That was due to the City of Phoenix policies that would be illegal under Section 2. Had inquiry been made before he encountered the Phoenix officer, that officer would not have been shot.

The comments of several Justices were very encouraging. Justice Scalia noted that under SB 1070, “Arizona is not trying to kick out anybody that the federal government has not already said do not belong here.” A number of the other provisions at issue are state copies of Federal laws where the Obama Administration claims that states cannot enforce identical laws in parallel. Justice Scalia added the analogy that federal law prohibits bank robbery, and stated, “Can it be made a state crime to rob those banks? I think it is.” And Chief Justice Roberts noted that the federal role in enforcing immigration law is not harmed by SB 1070 since “all it does is notify the Federal Government, here’s someone who is here illegally, here’s someone who is removable.”

Most troubling is the Federal Government’s argument that SB 1070 is unconstitutional because Arizona interferes with the Federal monopoly on foreign relations. Arizona has not opened any embassies. It has passed a law that foreign countries disagree with. If a Federal Judge can invalidate a state law on the grounds that other countries disagree with it (and it therefore interferes with the Federal monopoly on foreign relations) America’s sovereignty will be severely compromised. Justice Scalia asked the Obama Administration lawyer if “we have to enforce our laws in a manner that will please Mexico… (that) sounded like what you were saying.”

Finally, I was gratified to see that even the Obama administration lawyer agreed with Chief Justice Roberts’ contention that this case has nothing to do with ethnic and racial profiling. SB 1070 has never allowed racial profiling, and that is a persistent myth that should end today.

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Tom Horne: Facts Dealing With False Allegations Made By Don Dybus

1. Applicable Statute

The rules are set forth in the definition of “independent expenditure,” in A.R.S. § 16-901(14). The definition of “election” is that it means any “primary, general,…or runoff election.” (Emphasis added). Therefore the primary is a separate election from the general. A.R.S. § 16-901(7) also states “for purposes of § 16-903 and § 16-905, the general election includes the primary election.” Neither of those Sections is applicable to the issue presented here. This reinforces the fact that, for our purposes, the primary election is a separate election from the general election.

2. Facts

Kathleen Winn was a victim of Andrew Thomas’ unjust practices as County Attorney, and false charges against her were repeatedly dismissed by the court. Ultimately she prevailed. In December 2009, she filed an independent committee called Business Leaders for Arizona, to oppose Andrew Thomas. This was done on her own initiative, and was “without cooperation or consultation” with Tom Horne or anyone acting on his behalf, and without “any arrangement, coordination or direction” with Tom Horne or anyone acting on his behalf. She never received any compensation from Tom Horne or anyone acting on his behalf. She raised $2,480, paid almost all of it ($2,100) to a website/graphic design expert in January 2010. He took the fee, but did not do anything. The project fizzled, and she abandoned it.

Although Kathleen filed papers with the Secretary of State’s office because she thought there would be an independent campaign, in fact there was no independent campaign during the primary. The above quoted statute defines “independent expenditure” as an expenditure “that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate…” There was no express advocacy, because there was no activity at all, other than a payment for which nothing was ever received.

Kathleen then volunteered in Tom Horne’s campaign in the primary election in 2010. She was not an “officer, member, employee or agent of the committee” of that campaign, but solely a volunteer.

When the primary was over, Kathleen told Mr. Horne she was withdrawing from the campaign, in order to be able to conduct an independent campaign during the general election. This was on her own initiative, and was “without cooperation or consultation” with Tom Horne or anyone acting on his behalf, and without “any arrangement, coordination or direction” with Tom Horne or anyone acting on his behalf. Those who participated in the campaign can confirm that, after the primary, Kathleen stopped coming to meetings.

3. Motive for False Charges

When Don Dybus sent his letter, he knew he was about to be fired. He sent letter to the Attorney General’s Office indicating that he could not be fired. Sharon Collins, the Manager of the Tucson Office, asked him why he sent a letter of charges, as referred to in his letter, and he responded that “I knew that Rick Bistrow [the Chief Deputy in the Attorney General’s Office] was about to fire me, and I was afraid of losing the health insurance.”

On February 9, shortly before the letter was written, Tom Horne was on the telephone with Sharon Collins, and with Rick Bistrow, the Chief Deputy Attorney General. Horne told Collins to tell Dybus that he had not been working to standard, and that if he did not start working to standard, he would have to be let go. Collins passed this message, in substance, to Dybus, shortly before he sent his letter.

4. Hiring of Kathleen Winn

There was never a promise made to hire Kathleen Winn. She was not among the new employees processed during the transition period following the election. Kathleen Winn was not the first choice for that job. The offer was first made to Kim Owens, who decided she wanted to pursue other avenues in the private sector. Only then was the offer made to Kathleen Winn, based on her qualifications, and the confidence Tom Horne had developed in her during the primary. A statement of her qualifications is attached as Exhibit A. It is common for public figures to hire people in whom they have developed confidence during the election. The point is that no promise was made, and this is obvious from the fact that she was not hired at first, and that when the job for which she was hired opened up, something else was the first choice. Winn’s salary is the same as that of her predecessor.

5. Nathan Sproul

Tom Horne has had no contact with Nathan Sproul since the before the last election. Kathleen Winn chose his consulting company for the independent campaign. Tom Horne had no participation in that decision, nor did he know of it.

6. Contribution from Richard Newman

Tom Horne did not know that Kathleen Winn was approaching his sister for a contribution to the independent campaign. His sister and Kathleen Winn had met at the primary victory party, at which time his sister gave Kathleen Winn her phone number and asked her to call if there was anything she could do to help in the general election.

Richard Newman formed Horne Consulting, L.L.C. on March 26, 2010, not in October 2010, which illustrates the falseness of the charges that have been made, by facts that can be confirmed by the public record. Richard Newman ceased to be an employee of a company called AACOM on April 1, 2010, but he remained as a non-executive chairman of the board, and a consultant. Horne Consulting was formed in connection with his becoming a consultant. It had nothing to do with this election. No money passed through Horne Consulting for political contributions. All contributions in the independent campaign were from personal funds. Tom Horne had not heard of Horne Consulting until the article published today.

7. Formal Findings Against Rotellini Independent Campaign

The democratic Attorney General’ Association is the sole source of funding of a front group called the Committee for Justice and Fairness.[ 1 ] It spent $600,000 attacking me on behalf of my opponent Felicia Rotellini. It made the willful decision not to comply with Arizona’s requirements for filing disclosures with the Secretary of State, and oral disclosures in advertising. An Administrative Law Judge made that finding, and a copy of that decision is attached as Exhibit B. By contrast, Kathleen Winn diligently complied with all filing and disclosure requirements.

In addition, in September 2010, Felicia Rotellini attended a meeting of the Democratic Attorney General’s Association, and their funding of an independent campaign on her behalf followed shortly after that.[ 2 ] I attended no meeting of the Republican Attorney General’s Association or similar organization prior to the election. The irony of the present inquiry is that I went much further than many other candidates to stay far away from the line that separates campaigns from independent campaigns.

Footnotes:

[ 1 ] http://forms.irs.gov/politicalOrgsSearch/search/gotoSearchDrillDown.action?pacId=’27494’&criteriaName=’COMMITTEE+FOR+JUSTICE+AND+FAIRNESS’

[ 2 ] 9/14/10 Tim Nelson contribution in kind for “Daga conference.” http://azsos.gov/cfs/PublicReports/2010/78E892B2-7282-4CC7-BAC5-2F1313E7B899.pdf 

Exhibits:

http://www.azag.gov/AGResponseExhibits4-2-12.pdf

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Attorney General Tom Horne Interview on BBC regarding TUSD’s Ethnic Indoctrination Program

In case you missed it, here is the recent interview of Attorney General Tom Horne on the BBC discussing Tucson Unified School District’s “Ethnic Studies” program: http://www.azag.gov/press_releases/jan/2012/world%20service.mp3

 

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne Finds Quartzsite Open Meeting Law Violations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2011
CONTACT: Amy Rezzonico

PHOENIX (Tuesday, December 13, 2011) — Attorney General Tom Horne has found evidence that the Quartzsite Town Council has violated Arizona’s Open Meeting Laws (A.R.S. §§ 38-431 et. seq.) in connection with the conduct of Town Council meetings and dealings with a member of the public.

In a letter to the Quartzsite Town Attorney, Horne notes that on June 28, 2011, while addressing the Council, Quartzsite resident Jennifer Jones was removed from the meeting by a vote of the council. She had turned her back on the council and was addressing the audience, which the council reasonably could object to. Public bodies can eject members of the public for disruptive conduct, but they must first give a warning, which the council failed to do.

The second violation occurred on July 10, 2011 in which the Council convened an emergency meeting on at the Town Hall to discuss disruptions during previous meetings. The Council locked the doors to the meeting room and did not allow any member of the public to attend its meeting. Excluding the public from this meeting violated the Open Meeting Law.

In the third and related violation, the Attorney General notes that the Council did not fully comply with the posting requirements for emergency meetings. As of December 9, 2011, the minutes of the emergency meeting were not posted on the Town website.

The final violation involves the failure to comply with posting requirements for Notices and Minutes.

The Council did not post minutes for the July 10, 2011 emergency meeting. In addition, the Council failed to post minutes for a number of its meetings labeled as “work sessions.”

As a remedy, Horne is recommending that:

  1. The Council will discuss the concerns listed in this letter with its legal counsel in open session during a properly noticed public meeting.
  2. Each member of the Council and staff will participate in a training session with counsel from the League of Arizona Cities and Towns regarding the requirements of the Open Meeting Laws.
  3. The Council will be subject to oversight by the Attorney General’s Office for a period of twelve months.

View a copy of the letter to the Town here.

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AG Horne to Defend State Elections Law Before Arizona Supreme Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 5, 2011

PHOENIX (Monday, December 5, 2011) — Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne will argue Tucson v. Arizona before the Arizona Supreme Court at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 6, at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale. You can watch live at http://azcourts.gov/AZSupremeCourt/LiveArchivedVideo.aspx (see instructions below)

The case centers on a 2009 state law, A.R.S. 9-821.01, a law requiring cities to have non-partisan elections and prohibit some at-large elections.

The prohibited system, now used in Tucson (but this statute would also prevent other cities from adopting that system) tends to disenfranchise voters in districts where the majority is different than the overall majority in that city. In a number of districts, the voters have been represented by someone who lost in their district.

Earlier, the state Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Tucson’s argument that this was purely a local matter and the Legislature had no right to pass laws on the subject. The Arizona Supreme Court granted review, and Horne will argue that the State does have a legitimate interest and that the statute is valid.

Note: When you access the page, scroll down and you will see under “Upcoming Events” the Tucson v. Arizonacase. Next to the case you will see “case summary.” Once the argument goes live at 2:00p.m. “oral argument” will appear next to “case summary.” Select the “oral argument” text and the feed will appear.

WHO: AG TOM HORNE TO ARGUE TUCSON V. ARIZONA CASE
WHERE: THUNDERBIRD SCHOOL OF GLOBAL MANAGEMENT
1 GLOBAL PLACE
GLENDALE, AZ 85306
DATE: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011
TIME: 2:00 P.M.

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