Tom Horne Accused of Possible Violations of Federal, State Law by Tom Ryan, Attorney for Ex-AG Staffer Sarah Beattie
Much of Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's executive office staff is involved in "substantial campaigning" for his 2014 re-election, "while on state time and utilizing State resources."
This, according to a litigation hold letter made public Monday by Chandler attorney Tom Ryan, who represents former AG employee and ex-Horne campaign volunteer Sarah Beattie.
You'll recall that Beattie recently quit her position with the AG's constituent services division, complaining in a resignation note that Horne's office is "not following campaign laws or finance laws."
In the hold letter, Ryan asserts that Beattie's allegations could "represent a substantial violation of State and Federal laws which prohibit such conduct," and advises Horne to preserve from destruction all documents pertaining to the allegations.
AG Tom Horne, staring into the abyss...
Ryan also offers as evidence of Beattie's charges a campaign flier, which he says was created in the AG's office for a Horne fundraiser, featuring former Republican Attorney General of Virginia and ex-gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.
Of this exhibit, Ryan states:
By way of example you will find attached to this letter as Exhibit 1 is a flyer for your campaign for a Ken Cuccinelli fundraiser for December 5, 2013. This flyer was distributed by Debra Scordato in an email to members of your Executive Office staff. The metadata for the Cuccinelli flyer shows that it was created by "Brett", who upon information and belief is Brett Mecum of your Executive Office staff.
This was created on "11/18/2013 at 3:57p.m." and last modified by "Brett" on "11/18/2013 at 4:30 p.m." Upon information and belief this was created during working hours in the Executive Office suite by Mr. Mecum in conjunction with other Executive Office staff members.
This is just but one of many examples I have learned of improper use of the Executive Office for campaigning for your 2014 re-election process. I have also learned of at least one instance of an order to delete emails related to campaigning that occurred during Executive Office hours and in the Executive Office suite. These facts are deeply concerning to the citizens of the State of Arizona.
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Ryan says he was asked by counsel for the Arizona Secretary of State to provide any knowledge that his client has of possible violations of the law. He states that he will "comply with that request by serving that letter tomorrow Tuesday, May 6, 2014."