Tom Horne Settles Lawsuit by Former Investigator for Nearly $100K (w/Update)
Former Arizona Attorney General investigator Meg Hinchey today settled her claim against the state, Attorney General Tom Horne, and Horne chief deputy Rick Bistrow for nearly $100,000.
Hinchey filed suit in January 2013, claiming Horne and Bistrow retaliated against her in response to her blowing the whistle to the FBI on alleged campaign finance shenanigans by Horne.
Those allegations, the FBI probe of Horne's office, and the subsequent fallout cost Horne a shot at the Ninth Floor.
See, a couple of years ago, Horne had been gearing up to run for governor in the 2014 Republican primary.
After the scandal broke in October 2012, Horne decided to run for re-election instead.
Currently, he's battling a primary challenge from former state gaming director Mark Brnovich.
Horne, pondering his political demise . . .
As part of today's deal, Hinchey will be paid $99,999.
She also has agreed to dismiss her claims against Horne and Bistrow, which leaves the state of Arizona holding the bag for the $100K.
In her original 2012 notice of claim to the state, Hinchey had asked for $10 million not to sue.
AG spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham denied that the settlement indicated an admission of wrongdoing by Horne and Bistrow.
"Tom Horne and Rick Bistrow opposed settling this case because they expected to win at trial," Grisham said via e-mail.
"Decisions for the state are made by the Department of Administration," she added. "The rule is that to settle a case for $100,000 or more the state would need Horne's consent, which he would not give. The Department of Administration therefore agreed to settle the case for $99,999, because it did not need the consent of Horne."
Hinchey issued the following statement through her attorney Suzanne Dallimore:
"This has been a long and difficult process and I am glad that it is over. This was never about money, contrary to what some think. All I have asked for from the beginning is included in the settlement agreement and now I would just like to move past this."