Feathered Bastard

Tom Horne's Fender-Bender: Photos for the Curious

As I mentioned in a blog item Monday, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's initial court date for the March fender-bender that took place at his presumed mistress Camen Chenal's abode is this Friday morning.

The Phoenix Police Department just released its report on the incident, along with these pics of the damage to the two cars involved. So I'm posting them for the curious.

Horne looks guilty as heck, and even admitted to the hit-and-run to one of his employees, public information officer Amy Rezzonico, according to the investigative file.

See also: -Tom Horne's Court Date Set for Friday on Hit-and-Run Charge

Rezzonico told investigators that the AG didn't believe he had damaged the other vehicle.

That may be true. Kevin Montano, the owner of the white Range Rover Horne hit, didn't even know there had been damage to his car until FBI agents showed up at his door, according to the report.

Read interviews associated with the case.

A preliminary estimate for repairs to Montano's vehicle in the amount of $1,070.95 is included with the documents released Tuesday.

There was also damage to the car of Linnea Heap, the AG employee who lent Carmen Chenal her Volkswagen Passat on that fateful day. Chenal tells the Phoenix cops that the damage to Heap's car was "no more than $150," though it looks more extensive than the Range Rover's damage in the photos.

Read the Phoenix Police Department report on the hit and run.

Range Rover's are notoriously expensive to repair.

Montano told the cops that the black mark in the picture was something caused by his son while driving.

Apparently, no one got out of the car to check for damage. FBI agents seem to believe that Horne was veiling his identity by wearing a baseball cap. He also traded off vehicles, from his gold Jaguar to the black Passat when he and Chenal met in a parking lot, before heading to her place.

The most significant passage in the entire report is this one:

"It should be noted that through the course of the investigation, [FBI Special Agent] Grehoski and [FBI Special Agent] Mason learned that Horne is having an extramarital affair with Chenal and that they utilize Chenal's apartment in furtherance of that affair.

"Though motive is not an element of the criminal statute listed above, it stands to reason that Horne did not want any record of his presence in the parking garage of Chenal's apartment complex thus he did not leave a note."

Does the general public really care that Horne was having an extramarital affair?

Well, in Republican Arizona politics, it's not helpful. And Horne wanted to run for governor, a dream now dashed. I doubt he'll survive a primary challenge should he seek re-election.

Horne is a tragicomic character, and the cause of his own downfall.

His affair with Chenal made him so paranoid about a July, 2011 column of mine on Chenal's state appointment that he ordered an internal investigation to plug what he assumed was a leak.

Ironically, Horne's investigator uncovered evidence of alleged wrongdoing by Horne and others, which was turned over to the FBI.

Tom Horne is a Democrat turned right-wing Republican, a Jewish Canadian turned immigrant-scapegoater.

He is by no means on the same level of nefariousness as Sheriff Joe Arpaio or disbarred, disgraced former County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

Still, like a karmic boomerang, Horne's opportunism has come back to thump him.

I give him credit for defeating Thomas, and helping us dodge that bullet.

However, his political opportunism and his exploitation of the immigration issue, particularly his drive to end ethnic studies in Tucson, will forever be a black stain on his name.

Somewhere in Tom Horne is a Democrat who long ago sold his soul to the devil to get ahead. I know he knows better. Which does not ameliorate his culpability in the least.

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