Tom Horne, the state Attorney General, inherited the SCA case from his predecessor, Terry Goddard.
The case is all about the dirty politics played by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the state Republican Party. Briefly, it involves a secret slush fund of money solicited from fat-cats around the country to help Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The money was illegally donated to the state Republican Party, which used it to create the "sheriff's-opponent-masturbates-and-screwed-his-own-mother" ad (see the YouTube video) that ran for a night on local TV until viewers demanded it be taken down.
The lies, cover-ups, corruption and potential crimes involving top sheriff's officials, including Arpaio, seem obvious to us.
But state Attorney General Horne -- a Republican, like the sheriff -- won't touch it.
In a statement released today to coincide with the release of the SCA investigative report, (which Horne only coughed up after we sent a strongly worded demand letter), Horne says he's deferring it all to the feds.
Horne's office states in the release:
"When Attorney General, Tom Horne, assumed office on January 3, 2011, the Attorney General's Office had several pending investigations which were initiated by the previous administration. Some of those investigations involved present and/or past members of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Maricopa County Attorney's Office and others. Members of the Attorney General's Office have consulted with members of the United States Attorney's Office and it has been determined that the United States Attorney's Office has investigated, or is investigating , the same matters as part of an on-going federal investigation.
The United States Attorney's Office has previously received authorization from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to investigate and prosecute any potential state criminal charges which may arise in connection with the current federal investigation. Accordingly, the Attorney General has elected to defer to the federal authorities regarding said investigation and potential prosecutions arising from it."
"Elected" obviously means they could be doing something about it, but aren't.
Way to keep Arpaio happy.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.