Tom Horne Wants Everyone to Know There's No "Direct Evidence" Against Him

Given the headlines about an FBI investigation into Attorney General Tom Horne, he's requesting the same "media prominence" be given to the fact his accuser said his complaint was not based on "direct evidence."

There ya go.

The news came Monday from the Arizona Capitol Times that Horne was being investigated by the FBI over his alleged involvement in an independent expenditure committee during his 2010 campaign, based on a complaint by one of Horne's employees.

The complaint from Don Dybus -- who works in Horne's Tucson office -- alleges Horne, his brother-in-law, political consultant Nathan Sproul, and one of Horne's current employees, Kathleen Winn, violated various campaign laws.

The complaint claims the firm headed by Sproul, which was running the independent expenditure committee called Business Leaders for Arizona, "provided active and regular campaign advice directly to Horne throughout the election cycle," and collaborated in several other ways -- which would be campaign-law violations.

Dybus' complaint contends Winn was also part of BLA, and was hired by AG Horne "[i]n exchange for Winn's fundraising and other work at BLA."

The complaint also claims Horne was coordinating with his brother-in-law to funnel money into BLA.

"Using the public information obtained from [the Secretary of State's] website and comparing that to publicly known facts surrounding the Attorney General, it is undeniable that a full investigation is warranted," Dybus says in his complaint. "This complaint is by no means exhaustive of the facts showing conspiracy, collusion, and coordination by the parties named. Rather, this complaint contains sufficient information to tell persons of common sense and reason that laws have most likely been violated by the Attorney General."

Now Horne's combating the allegations with Dybus' indirect quote to the Cap Times that he's basing the allegations on inferences he made, not direct evidence.

That led Horne to use the phrase "direct evidence" six times in his press release -- which can be read in full here.

"I have been smeared on the front page of every major newspaper in Arizona and on TV and radio newscasts on the basis of 'no direct evidence,'" Horne says. "These accusations are outrageous, untrue, and were made nearly a year and a half after the election. In the interest of accuracy and fairness, I would ask that the same media prominence be given to Dybus' admission that he had no direct evidence."

Horne also previously released a more formal response to the allegations -- found here -- in which he pretty much rejects the entire complaint, but also added a stab at his 2010 opponent, Democrat Felicia Rotellini.

Horne says Rotellini was friendly with what he calls a "front group" that spent money on attack ads against him.

"The irony of the present inquiry is that I went much further than many other candidates to stay far away from the line that separates campaigns from independent campaigns," he says.

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