Tom Horne's Snakepit, Bill Montgomery's Dirty Money, and the Problem with Carmen Chenal
FBI SAC James Turgal: Just don't ask him about Arpaio, Russell Pearce, J.T. Ready, etc.
Oh, I'm sure they never coordinated. I would never, ever suggest such a thing.
As was the case with Arpaio's spending on behalf of Monty, this deal with Winn and Horne is a civil matter and will go before an administrative law judge, and that judge will decide whether or not a fine is merited.
After that, Horne and Winn may appeal and get the amount busted down. Just like with Joe.
So why was the FBI chasing Horne around as he hooked up with his employee Carmen Chenal and backed into another vehicle? I mean, I know this is some kind of heinous crime, but don't these agents have some terrorists to flush out or something?
More importantly, did FBI investigators dog Arpaio and his henchmen in this manner over the abuse of power allegations? Did they do wiretaps? Did they leave no stone unturned in an effort to bring Maricopa County's badge-slingin' Al Capone to justice?
And if they did, why are they so shy about discussing it? I don't recall Tugal making himself available to the press when the U.S. Attorney's Office made the criminal investigation of Arpaio go away at 5 p.m. on a Friday before a three day weekend?
You know those federal employees, they do like their time off.
"The FBI is that organization that is charged with protecting the public's trust," said Turgal to the press on Monday. "That trust is what lies at the very core of our democracy. It costs nothing but faith, but it means everything, and that's what the FBI's role is."
I practically felt like saluting the flag. Not.
I asked Turgal if the FBI was involved just because one of Horne's own investigators, Meg Hinchey, came to the agency with the allegations against Horne and Winn.
"The FBI is involved because we are that organization at the federal level, whether it is civil rights or public corruption, it is our responsibility," he explained. "If the FBI doesn't do it, nobody does. So whether you are an individual who is an elected official at the federal, state, local, or tribal level, if there are allegations of misconduct or wrongdoing, it is our responsibility to investigate that."
Uh, okay. so why didn't you investigate the 2011 recall shenanigans involving former state Senate President Russell Pearce and sham candidate Olivia Cortes?
"I'm not going to comment on that," Turgal replied.
So, no eleven month FBI investigation into ol' Russ, Cortes, and Constantin Querard.
And nope, Monty isn't interested in that one either.
Horne had that investigation at one point. He conflicted it out to Gila County prosecutor Daisy Flores, who gave it about as much scrutiny as a thirsty alcoholic gives a free fifth of Jim Beam before guzzling.
I'm not saying the Horne-Winn matter should have been ignored, but it pales in comparison to some of the other corruption here in Sand Land.
Nor do I feel sorry for Horne, who pretty much brought this mess on himself by ordering Hinchey to find a non-existent mole in his office. A mole who supposedly was telling yours truly that Horne and Chenal were playing their version of strip canasta in between meals at the Pita Jungle.
You should see the doorstop of transcripts of interviews done of AG employees in an attempt to sniff all this out. Why all this tree-killing? There were no grand jury secrets or any other kinds of privileged info involved.
Horne was obviously paranoid someone was whispering about his alleged infidelities. Not good rumors to have out there if you want to run for governor in 2014, which Horne did. Though that pipe dream is now bust.