Tom Horne Turned AG's Office Into Campaign HQ, According to Sarah Beattie
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is running his re-election effort from his state office, and using AG staff members to raise money, organize events and do other campaign-related work on state time.
These are among the many serious allegations leveled against Horne by ex-staff member Sarah Beattie, who resigned April 22 from a job in the AG's constituent services division, complaining that the office was "not following campaign laws."
Beattie sat down with me Thursday in the Chandler office of her attorney Tom Ryan to detail her role as a state employee tasked by Horne to raise money on his behalf, even though her job, ostensibly, was working for the people of Arizona.
"Every day, all day was campaign [work]," explained Beattie, who said her desk was 20 feet from Horne's office at one point. "Horne would come out at any moment and derail an official project and pull me into his office and start talking about stuff that was campaign-related."
The 26-year old said Horne would give out her AG office phone number at campaign events so that potential donors would call her, and that she personally watched Horne make fundraising calls from his state office.
She detailed how members of Horne's executive staff would meet each Wednesday to discuss campaign-related issues, how several AG employees labored for Horne on state time, how government resources sometimes were used, and how Horne once asked her to delete a campaign-related email that he inadvertently sent to her state e-mail.
"The AG's executive office is the campaign headquarters [for Horne]," Beattie alleged.
But the following excerpt from Beattie's affidavit, which Ryan plans to file soon with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, is perhaps her most damning statement against the highest law enforcement official in Arizona:
Between August 1, 2013 and the date of my resignation of April 22, 2014, the majority of people employed in the executive office of the Arizona Attorney General were campaigning for Tom Horne during regular business hours. This included Tom Horne himself.
By way of example, Tom Horne kept a white three-ring binder on his shelf behind his desk. The spine of this white binder was deliberately mislabeled "Border Patrol." The contents of the binder have nothing to do with the Border Patrol. Instead the binder contained a substantial list of donors from the 2010 campaign and the 2014 campaign with Tom Horne's handwritten notes from calls that he made to donors.
The contents of this binder were solely dedicated to campaign fundraising and solicitations. I have seen Mr. Horne use the binder marked Border Patrol daily to make campaign solicitation calls in his office.
Ryan and Beattie showed me the binder, which was organized in sections: by donors who were attorneys, by the donor's employer, and so on.
On the pages, there were scribblings in ink, which Beattie said were made by Horne.
"It was in his office and I was supposed to make copies [of pages] for myself," Beattie told me. "I always had to go in and get it from his official office.
"I had forgotten that I had it, and the office had fallen into a state of panic, afraid that it had fallen into the wrong hands. I think I blamed someone else for losing it. I found it in my car a few weeks later, and I just continued to blame someone else."