Feathered Bastard

Tom Horne Pleads "Not Guilty" on Fender-Bender, Avoids Friday Hearing

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has entered a plea of "not guilty" in Phoenix Municipal Court for his March fender-bender at the love nest of his state-financed mistress Carmen Chenal.

That's the accident witnessed by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who had been dogging Horne over his alleged violation of campaign finance laws in the 2010 election, and the possible obstruction of justice involved in Horne's alleged cover-up of that violation.

See also: -Tom Horne's Court Date Set for Friday on Hit-and-Run Charge -Tom Horne's Fender-Bender: Photos for the Curious -Tom Horne's Snakepit, Bill Montgomery's Dirty Money, and the Problem with Carmen Chenal

As a result, Horne's Friday arraignment was canceled. Bummer. Guess the media scrum will have to look for another victim on short notice.

A pretrial conference has been set for November 21. Meanwhile The Arizona Republic spilled some more ink today on what I'm dubbing "Chenal-gate" (or "Carmen-gate" or "Horne-y-gate," take your pick).

That's because this all started when Horne ordered an investigation into my supposed source for a story I did on Chenal last year. That was the first domino.

Horne's investigator ran into info on the alleged campaign finance shenanigans, which she turned over to the FBI, which began interviewing witnesses, some of whom the FBI believe may have been tampered with, coached, and so on.

On Thursday, the fishwrap of record called for Horne to apologize for "debasing" the high office he now holds.

Apologize? Next they'll want to give him a time-out and start him on Ritalin.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons