Arizona AG Tom Horne Turns Part of Fiesta Bowl Investigation Over to Maricopa County Attorney's Office; Admits Some Conflict of Interest

tomhorneelectionnight.jpg
James King
If you contributed to Attorney General Tom Horne's campaign, he has no problem prosecuting you if you break the law -- he says.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced today that he's turning over some of the investigation into the Fiesta Bowl fiasco to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office because a conflict of interest exists between his office and elected officials who allegedly accepted -- and failed to report -- gifts and tickets to sporting events.

In his announcement, Horne also says his office is hanging on to most of the investigation -- even investigations into his campaign cronies who ponied up cash to help get him elected.

"Over 1,600 people contributed to my campaign. They are expected to follow the law like everyone else, and there is no reason that my office cannot undertake a full, comprehensive, and fair investigation of former contributors," Horne says. "I would not hesitate to prosecute them if the evidence showed a crime had been committed, or to absolve them if it showed that no crime had been committed."

Horne notes that the conflict only exists with elected officials, whom he considers "clients" of his office.

"In the primary election last year, I criticized my opponent [former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas] for prosecuting clients. Later, a bar investigation of that opponent found that prosecuting a client is a violation of ethical rule 1.7(a)(1)," Horne says. "These ethical
requirements mandate me to transfer such matters to another agency."

Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Andrei Cherny has been hounding Horne to turn over the investigation to another agency since just days after news of the scandal broke.

"This scandal reveals the deep and pervasive Republican culture of corruption in Arizona," Cherny said days after news of the scandal broke. "Given the partisan nature of this scheme, Attorney General Horne's conflict of interest is too great to give Arizonans the confidence that justice will be served and the mess in theRepublican Party will be cleaned up."

Now, Cherny says Horne only turning over part of the investigation "falls short."

"For Attorney General Horne to claim that prominent lobbyists Chuck Coughlin and Gary Husk are just names on a long list of contributors to his campaign strains believability," Cherny says. "They are two of the most powerful men in state government and in Republican party politics."

Cherny goes on to call for Horne to turn over the entire investigation.

"Only a credible investigation can determine what happened in Fiestagate," he says. "The people of Arizona will have little confidence that the charging and other decisions in this investigation have been done without political influence as long as the investigation is in the hands of Attorney General Horne or other ambitious Republican politicians.


"I repeat my call for Attorney General Horne to transfer this entire investigation into the hands of a respected, independent third party."


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10 comments
Gerry_C
Gerry_C

It seems that Horne is rapidly proving to be the disaster I feared Bill Montgomery would be. Montgomery has turned out ok Something about Honor, Integrity, and West Point. Horne missed that boat. Andrew Thomas never even knew about it.

Coz
Coz

Talk is cheap and we all know politicians are full of shit...So I sure won't hold my breath waiting for Horne to do the right thing.

jadeeyes
jadeeyes

I am a Republican to the bone, but this is crooked, and conflict of interest is the least of the reality. It is a crime against the people of Arizona, and there has to be a higher law that can step in and take this case. The people of Arizona need to get petitions to recall Horne, Brewer, and get the Feds in on this.I think a petition should be sent out on FB, Myspace,Twitter, and ask for the U S Attorney Generals office to get involved. Arizonians get of your lazy, rediculeous backsides and fight for your rights. You are becoming the joke of the country. People think you are stupid, and cowards. You won't even fight for your lives, whats wrong with you. This is not my home State, I don't know what you have become.

Jason
Jason

Is this fool gonna refuse EVERY case sent to his office or will he grow a pair of balls and handle the investigations himself?

WhoKnows: Well said.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

The ENTIRE investigation should be turned over to the feds, as giving a part of it to a lapdog that was elected due to illegal campaigning by Arpaio doesn't seem right.

Deniseaz
Deniseaz

Jadeeyes there is a recall going agsint Pearce , and i am one helping with the recall Brewer effort ,there have been many Republicans , and even some disgrunted Tpers as well , that i have personaly seen sign the recall on Brewer . look up on FB recall Brewer for a place that is near you . so you can sign, or even partake in the effort .

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