Morning Poll: Is State AG Tom Horne the Latest to Cower to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

Last week, the much-anticipated SCA investigative report was released to the public (New Times staffers had a blast thumbing through some of the findings, which may or may not involve seducing a "live sheep." Check it out here and here).

The case involves the lies, corruption, and potential crimes committed by top brass in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, including Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- but the state Attorney General's Office won't touch the case.

See state Attorney General Tom Horne's explanation below:

"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."

As we noted last week, Horne could do something about it, but has "elected" not to.

Say what you will about Arpaio, but he's a pretty popular/powerful guy amongst Maricopa County GOPers, so he's not someone a fellow Republican wants to piss off. Apparently.

Not to mention, Arpaio and Horne have some bad blood stemming from the sheriff's running attack ads against Horne last year during the GOP primary for attorney general, in which Horne was facing Arpaio lapdog and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

The Arpaio-funded ad painted Horne as pro-statutory rape, and Arpaio wasn't even running for office. A judge ignored all that and decided to shoot down an injunction against the ad filed by Horne.

In other words, Horne's decision to not call Arpaio out on his BS appears to be the attorney general's attempt at either mending fences with the powerful sheriff, or, like many before him who've had the chance to nail America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff," he's a coward who doesn't want to further offend a powerful politico like Arpaio.

We want to know what you think: is Horne cowering to Arpaio by staying away from the SCA case?

Cast your vote below.