Bill Montgomery Screwed Up Tom Horne Complaint, Second Judge Rules
Horne wins, Monty loses, and Sand Land politics slithers on...
I'm beginning to think Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery should enroll in some remedial law classes.
That's because now a superior court judge has agreed with an administrative law judge that Montgomery's office messed up the campaign finance case against Attorney General Tom Horne and his outreach director Kathleen Winn.
-Arizona AG Tom Horne's Sex Scandal Scuttles Gubernatorial Bid
-Bill Montgomery Screws Up Tom Horne Complaint, Judge Recommends Dismissal
-Bill Montgomery Believes Law He's Enforcing Against Tom Horne Is Unconstitutional
-Tom Horne's Snakepit, Bill Montgomery's Dirty Money, and the Problem with Carmen Chenal
See, in March, Administrative Law Judge Tammy Eigenheer ruled that Montgomery lacked authority in the case. Due process was not followed, the judge said. And the matter should be dismissed.
On Thursday, Superior Court Judge John Rea agreed with the ALJ, finding that the law backed the argument proffered by lawyers for Horne and Winn that Montgomery lacked jurisdiction in the case.
Essentially, Montgomery should not have been involved, Rea found, and should not have ordered Horne and Winn to pay back some $500,000 contributed to an independent expenditure committee that Winn ran in the 2010 general election.
The allegation is that there was coordination between Winn's IE and Horne, which is a no-no under state law -- a law, which, ironically, Montgomery believes to be unconstitutional.
In 2012, Montgomery's office joined the FBI in a wide-ranging probe of the AG's office begun the year before. The U.S. Attorney's Office chose not to bring charges, and Monty declined to pursue criminal charges as well.
Instead, Montgomery referred the matter to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who sent it back to Montgomery, saying that there was probable cause that campaign finance laws had been broken.
Montgomery then ordered Winn and Horne to pay back the contributors to Winn's IE.
But Arizona law (A.R.S. 16-924) specifically states that, "the secretary of state shall notify the attorney general for a violation regarding a statewide office or the legislature."