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Arizona Attorney General under investigation by federal authorities

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April 3, 2012

By Maresa Strano

Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona: On February 11, 2012, a former Tom Horne campaign volunteer and lawyer from the attorney general's Tucson office named Don Dybus filed a complaint with Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett alleging that Attorney General of Arizona violated state campaign laws during his election campaign for attorney general back in 2010.[1] The FBI was charged with investigating the

Tom Horne was first elected attorney general in 2010
complaint, which contends that Horne flouted the state's law prohibiting coordination between campaigns and independent expenditure committees, and accuses Horne of making a felonious deal with campaign supporter Kathleen Winn, promising her a post-election job in exchange for her alleged services as a coordinator of several of these cited illicit arrangements.[2]

In his complaint, Dybus said Horne collaborated with manager Nathan Sproul of the firm Lincoln Strategy, independent committee Business Leaders for Arizona, and Winn, who was the committee's Chairwoman, to arrange a $115,000 contribution to Business Leaders for Arizona from Horne's brother-in-law in Santa Monica, California. Dybus also accuses Lincoln Strategy of facilitating a $350,000 contribution to the independent committee from the Republican State Leadership Committee in Virginia. The independent committee implicated by Dybus reportedly spent roughly $500,000[3] on a series of advertisements smearing Horne's general election opponent Felecia Rotellini (D), whom Horne narrowly defeated in November 2011.[1]

After Horne took office as attorney general, he made Winn his Director of Community Outreach, a prominent position within the office that earns the suspected co-conspirator an annual salary of $95,505.[3] As revealed in the Arizona Capitol Times, Dybus called for Winn to be removed from the payroll, and urged Gov. Jan Brewer to replace Horne: “This is a matter of grave concern to all citizens of Arizona who should not tolerate a law-breaking attorney general."[3]

A spokeswoman from his office relayed Horne's explicit denial of any wrongdoing, insisting "the fact is that extraordinary care was exercised to avoid coordination,"[3] and referring to Dybus as "disgruntled."[1]


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