Feathered Bastard

Tom Horne's Hatchet Man Rick Bistrow Farms Out AG's "Self-Probe" to Horne Contributors

Page 3 of 3

Beattie's attorney Tom Ryan shared with me a letter from the pair dated June 26, informing him that they are investigating the matter and have hired a private investigator and an IT consultant to assist them with the probe.

See also: Tom Horne Probes Self with Help of Chief Deputy Rick Bistrow

"The purpose of this letter," the attorneys write, "is to introduce our involvement in this matter to you, and to request that your client submit to a voluntary interview regarding her allegations, together with foundational support for the source and content of the exhibits attached to the complaint."

But Ryan says he has no intention of cooperating with them, or allowing them access to his client.

"There are already multiple agencies investigating this matter," Ryan told me via e-mail. "Sarah is and will be cooperating with these other investigative entities fully. Given how the Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has conducted himself with his self-appointed `attack and distract' campaign against Sarah...we lack any confidence in...an investigation from that office."

Indeed, the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission recently voted to authorize an investigation into Beattie's allegations that Horne has made the AG's office his de facto campaign headquarters, using state resources and state employees to perform campaign functions during regular office hours.

The SOS has a copy of the Beattie complaint, but has yet to make a probable cause finding regarding it or the responses filed by Horne.

Additionally, the FBI and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office are investigating Horne. And of course, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk has ordered Horne and his arch wing-woman Kathleen Winn to pay back $400,000 in illegal campaign contributions.

So why do we need a $50,000 internal investigation, paid for by taxpayers?

Because none of those other probes are going to exonerate Horne.

Regarding Ridenour, Ryan understandably considers the involvement of firm a problem.

"I count eight lawyers [from that firm] who have contributed to Tom Horne's campaign," Ryan explained. "And they're on the list of approved lawyers, so they are financially well-connected to the Attorney General's Office."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons