Tom Horne, Self-Defamer, Hits Critics with Defamation SLAPP Suit (w/Update)
As I've said before about Arizona's ethically-challenged Attorney General Tom Horne, you can tell a man from Harvard, but you can't tell him much. Which is no doubt why the Harvard-grad persists in some of the dumbest, self-destructive activity possible for a public official, barring that of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, natch.
Take the AG's latest stunt: suing the non-profit Arizona Public Integrity Alliance for defamation over a TV ad currently running, which encourages Horne to do the right thing and pay back the $400,000 that two county attorney's have determined was illegally used on his behalf to help him win the general election in 2010.
Defamation? Are you kidding me? How is it possible to defame a bucket of slime, who pleaded no contest to a vehicular hit and run, hired his alleged mistress as an Assistant Attorney General for $108,000, is accused of coordinating with an independent expenditure committee in violation of state law, and was investigated by the FBI for alleged obstruction of justice and alleged witness tampering, among various other alleged misdeeds?
APIA's new and improved ad: Horne was a sleaze, and still is one!
But a suit filed Friday on Horne's behalf by Scottsdale attorney Sandra Slaton -- whose firm has been listed as an approved vendor with the AG's office -- claims the impossible. That Horne was defamed by AZPIA's ad, which initially, incorrectly stated that Horne was still under investigation by the FBI.
As I pointed out when I first reported on the ad, my understanding was and is that the FBI investigation is past tense. The U.S. Attorney's Office did not bring criminal charges against Horne, and neither did Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. Though if you ask me, both entities wimped out.
AZPIA's attorney Kory Langhofer told me at the time that he had done due diligence before the ad aired by contacting the FBI, which he said gave him their standard reply of not being able to confirm or deny an investigation.
Slaton, listed with the AG's office as one of the "awarded firms for CY2012"
Langhofer now tells me that Horne's attorney hit Cox cable with a letter demanding that the ads be taken down. AZPIA has since changed the ads to say that Horne "was under FBI investigation," a rather minor point, considering what Horne is alleged to have done while in office.