Tom Horne's Blues: No Settlement in Campaign Finance Case, Hearing Begins February 10, Sister Lends Him $100K
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's hopes of settling his campaign finance case have been dashed for now, as Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk today filed a notice with the administrative law court, signaling that discussions between the two sides on Thursday did not end in a resolution.
"No settlement was reached," reads the notice, "and the parties anticipate proceeding with the hearing as scheduled starting on February 10, 2014."
Horne's attorney Michael Kimerer would not comment on the substance of the settlement conference. But he lamented the lack of results.
"It's unfortunate," he told me. "We did not have any success in reaching a settlement, and now we plan on proceeding and showing that Tom Horne wasn't involved in any campaign violations."
A call to Polk's office for comment was not immediately returned.
In October, Polk ordered that Horne and former campaign operative Kathleen Winn (now the AG's outreach director) pay back nearly $400,000 that was contributed to Winn's 2010 independent expenditure committee, Business Leaders for Arizona.
Both Polk and before her Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery found that Horne and Winn had illegally coordinated efforts between BLA and Horne's campaign.
BLA raised more than $500,000 in the 2010 general election to pay for a TV ad critical of Horne's Democratic rival Felecia Rotellini, whom Horne bested by a little more than 60,000 votes.
Sources knowledgeable about Thursday's settlement conference tell me that Polk took a hard line, and would not agree to let Horne pay a fine without an admission of wrongdoing.
These same sources indicate Polk offered to let Horne pay a settlement amount of $250,000. As part of the deal, Horne would have to admit that he broke the law.
But Horne refuses to make any admissions regarding alleged coordination between himself and Winn.