Tom Horne May Triumph in Court, but Don't Count on a Win on Election Day

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's corruption is blatant, in your face, unrepentant.

Yet, given the machinations of Horne's lawyers, battling both Horne's misdemeanor fender-bender charge with the city of Phoenix and the campaign-finance-law complaint brought by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, I suspect the AG will escape all but the mildest of sanctions.

Hearings in both cases recently were rescheduled. Last week, Horne's attorney, Michael Kimerer, asked for the postponement of a pretrial hearing in the Horne hit-and-run case set for December 17 in Phoenix Municipal Court. Horne has pleaded not guilty in the case.

The court granted Kimerer's request, putting off the hearing 'til January 18.

"Defense counsel has been provided extensive discovery in this case, which requires additional time to evaluate completely," claims Kimerer in his motion.

He says he must "schedule interviews with several critical witnesses" and mentions that he is "hopeful that a resolution of this case can be obtained."

Kimerer adds, "To that effect, counsel has had ongoing communications with the city prosecutor regarding a settlement."

In other words, it's good to be the AG. Even if two FBI agents witness you commit a hit-and-run on a car parked near the pad of your alleged mistress, Carmen Chenal (you know, the one pulling a six-figure salary at taxpayer expense), conviction remains a long shot.

Then, there's the whole issue of election-year "coordination" between Horne and Business Leaders for Arizona, the independent-expenditure committee once run by Horne's current head of outreach, Kathleen Winn.

As I mentioned in my cover story on General Hornedog's Chenal-gate, Horne and Winn hypothetically could be on the hook for $1 million in fines each ("Arizona AG Tom Horne's Sex Scandal Scuttles Gubernatorial Bid," December 6).

But the audio recording of a recent hearing before Administrative Law Judge Tammy Eigenheer doesn't fill the listener with a sense of impending justice. The ALJ will be deciding on a Winn-Horne appeal of an order by County Attorney Montgomery to return the money Winn raised through BLA.

Administrative law hearings can be casual affairs. This one was unusually cordial, to judge from the audio.

In it, lawyers for Horne, Winn, and the county attorney discussed procedural matters with Eigenheer and put off the scheduled January 22 start of a six-day hearing on the allegations until February 25, at the earliest.

Two issues need to be resolved, according to the law hounds: what "coordination" consists of and whether the county attorney has jurisdiction over this alleged violation of Arizona law by Winn and Horne.

"The proper procedures," Kimerer wrote in his pre-hearing statement for Horne, "would have the Attorney General's Office — not the attorney general himself — appointing a neutral party to do the investigation and prosecution. That statutory procedure was not followed in this case."

Translation? Horne should get off on a technicality because, Kimerer argues, state statute says Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett should've sent a probable-cause letter to the AG's Office, not to the county attorney.

I know this stuff's confusing, so here's a refresher on how the investigation unfolded:

First, Horne ordered an internal probe into an assumed mole in the AG's Office, one he suspected of feeding me info on his supposed extramarital affair with Chenal.

The AG's investigator uncovered evidence of unrelated wrongdoing by Horne. She turned it over to the FBI.

The FBI investigated, in part with the help of the County Attorney's Office. The FBI then turned over its entire file to the county attorney and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Arizona choked, like it continually does when faced with allegations of big-time public corruption.

Per Arizona statute, the MCAO sent the investigation to Ken Bennett, and Bennett sent Montgomery a letter telling him, "This office has reasonable cause to believe that Attorney General Horne and Kathleen Winn have violated [state campaign-finance law]."

The secretary of state's letter says the AG "declared a conflict to my office on April 16, 2012," and that pursuant to Arizona law, the SOS has the authority to choose counsel other than Horne, who normally would enforce campaign-finance statutes in such an instance.

So Bennett chose Monty's office as the prosecuting entity.

Horne's lawyer is expected to file a brief this week arguing that Horne's right to due process was violated and that the county attorney unlawfully brought this action against Horne.

The MCAO will respond, and Eigenheer eventually will rule.

If Eigenheer finds that the county attorney does have jurisdiction, the hearing will proceed, though her decision could be the basis for a later appeal by Horne and Winn to county Superior Court.

Should the administrative law judge rule that the county attorney doesn't have jurisdiction, the case will be dismissed.

"I definitely think that jurisdiction is an issue that would have to be established before we could go forward," Eigenheer states, adding, "I don't see the point of wasting everyone's time if it turns out there is no jurisdiction."

I know the feeling. I'm beginning to wonder why we bother to go through with this hick-state Kabuki theater when it comes to addressing bald-faced corruption.

Might as well do what county Superior Court Judge Crane McClennen suggested in a related case in October: overturn all our state campaign-finance laws in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United case.

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20 comments
mandymarie7835
mandymarie7835

How can attorney Kimmerer represent Tom Horne when he also represents Debra Miller and Horne has power over appealing Milke's conviction set aside by the 9th Circuit?

ALSO, Horne must believe Kimmeer is a good lawyer to have hired him. But he wants to appeal the 9th Circuit ruling in the Milke case and go up against Kimerer in thst one. It makes NO sense???

DNichols
DNichols

Ben Arredondo was caught "Red Handed" in an F.B.I. Sting trying to solicit a large bribe.

Arizona's Courts didn't even slap his dirty knuckles even after pleading GUILTY, and infact the Judge chided the F.B.I. "That perhaps they should have gone after Wall Street."

Arizona "The Corrupt Politician Sanctuary"!

Where the Dirtiest,  Filthiest Politicians RULE.

Filthy Horne has the perfect Stinch to be our next Governor.

comrade
comrade

This fucking masked dick has no shame. I wonder what happen with the FBI agents, probably they were already properly compensated and adviced to say that it was Elmer Fodd the one that was driving that day, you know, since Horneyboy and Elmer look alike

sedonasherpa
sedonasherpa

We know 2 facts... Tom was in a hit and run...and Tom lied about it....

Tom is a lawyer who committed perjury...and is no longer qualified to fill a public position of trust.

bobbjobob
bobbjobob

Should be interesting to see how that all works out in the end lol

www.AnonDo.tk

arizonaeagletarian
arizonaeagletarian

Horne's Solicitor General, David Cole has resigned effective January 18, 2013. Cole cited his desire to return to teaching at the Phoenix School of Law. He also previously had served as a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge.

PissOnArpaio
PissOnArpaio

Has to be Karma, because there sure isn't any fucking justice in Arizona when it comes to corrupt pieces of shit politicians that we have so many of.

serpico1000
serpico1000

IT PAINS ME SO MUCH TO HEAR PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE STATE HAVING TO TAKE SO MUCH CRITICISM FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BECAUSE OF IT'S POLICIES, SPECIALLY ON IMMIGRATION AND THE RADICAL GUN POLICIES  BUT MOST OF ALL THE RADICAL CUTS ON EDUCATION, AND THE MORTGAGE PROBLEMS THE STATE'S POPULATION IS GOING THROUGH AND NOW WITH THE STATE TAKING POSSESSION OF A PART OF THE MONEY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAD AWARDED THE STATE TO PROVIDE TO THE PEOPLE TO RELIEVE THEIR DEBT, IT'S A HEARTBROKEN SIGHT AND A DISCONTENT WITH A LOT OF TRE ARIZONANS WHO, WITH SO MANY YEARS LIVING IN THE STATE, ARE DEVASTATED SEEING ALL THE NONSENSE BEING ADAPTED NOT ONLY BY THE POPULATION, BUT BY THE SAME GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION WHO TOK THE OATH OF PROTECTING THE STATE AND IT'S PEOPLE........

gerry_c
gerry_c

A rookie cop would be canned for dishonesty. We don't expect the same of our AG.

tyler_speedskater
tyler_speedskater

suppose tommybigdickdaddyHorne thinks he has Diplomatic immunity....u slut

Bort-LongYear
Bort-LongYear

Again, keep the pressure up Lemons--the only way this mouth breather will get any form of justice is the public kicking is uglyass to the curb.  Funny how the AG investigator was under fire for indicting some Phoenix cops for double dipping while on duty i.e., working their shift and hitting an apartment complex for OT while on duty--seems Winn was doing the same ass thing when TommyBoy let her sell his real estate property on State time.  Where is the JUSTICE FOR ALL>

diamonds3
diamonds3

Hornie is just that.  He is stupid and a liar.  Who needs him

beatystud
beatystud

IF YOU OR ME RAMMED A CAR "DESTROYING IT" SOME F.B.I. GUYS WERE WITNESS...YOU OR I WOULD BE IN JAIL...JUSTICE IS A JOKE IN ARIZONA

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

Mr. Lemons, you article captures the essence of the stench of Arizona Republican politics, in general, and Mr. Horne, specifically.

Reading the article it occurs to me that the names of Mr. Horne and the local county sheriff could be exchanged and few, if any, would know the difference.

Sleaze, indeed.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

@PissOnArpaio really we need to have something more like a special task force just too investigate our politicians here.. It could almost be like organized crime task forces in other states.. follow the money and you find the bad guys.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

@beatystud Uh, this one was a small dent/scratch in the bumber.  Does that "destroy it" to you?  Google the picture!

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

@Tommy_Collins lol these days it's hard to name an AZ politician (esp on the GOP side) that isn't a sleaze bucket!

DNichols
DNichols

Dishonest, is "Dishonest", and we don't need a Liar General!

Bort-LongYear
Bort-LongYear

@WhoKnows @beatystud Carmen, Carmen, Carmen--save your comments for the State Bar the next time you are disbarred.  You ol'windbag TommyBoy is outa office in two years--that means you will b need work--hope you are saving for a rainy day.  

 
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