A state administrative law judge ruled Monday that Attorney General Tom Horne did not violate campaign finance laws in his successful 2010 election. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.
There were phone calls and e-mails between Horne and Kathleen Winn prior to the general election. She was operating what was supposed to be an independent campaign committee. But, Tammy Eigenheer said evidence they had illegally coordinated their efforts was circumstantial. Eigenheer said they could just as easily have been chatting about a pending real estate deal, and not the half-million dollar TV ad attacking Democrat Felecia Rotellini that Winn's committee was running on Horne's behalf. Horne said that’s why he fought the charges.
“It’s a vindication. It supports what I’ve been saying all along that there was no coordination,” Horne said.
Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk has 30 days to decide whether to accept the report or reject it, pushing the case into superior court. But, Horne's political problems may not be over. FBI agent Brian Grehoski, tailing Horne, said he witnessed a minor hit and run, asserting Horne did not stop because he was trying to hide an affair. Horne won’t comment on that allegation, but noted that Eigenheer found Grehoski had lied on the stand about a conversation with a witness.
“We found out how credible this guy's testimony is, haven't we?” Horne asked.
Horne faces Mark Brnovich in a GOP primary and, if he survives that, a rematch in November against Rotellini.