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Horne under investigation

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Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 4:00 am | Updated: 7:19 am, Wed Jul 30, 2014.

Clean Elections Commission is the latest agency to investigate AZ attorney general.

The hits just keep on coming for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who is the subject of a new investigation by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission.

Sarah Beattie, a former staffer in Horne’s constituent-services section, filed a complaint last month with the commission (as well as other relevant regulatory and law-enforcement agencies) alleging that she and other top staff were “performing work for the re-election campaign during official business hours,” according a summary of Beattie’s charges compiled by Thomas Collins, executive director of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission.

Collins noted that Horne’s response to Beattie’s complaint did “not resolve these issues and, in many ways, lends support to the complaint’s claims or supports the inference that campaign finance violations may have occurred.”

The Clean Elections Commission voted 4-0 to conduct an investigation into Beattie’s allegations. Sanctions for the violations could include removing Horne from office, although no traditionally-funded candidate who did not take Clean Elections funding has ever faced that severe a punishment.

Horne is facing a separate investigation regarding campaign-finance violations related to his 2010 campaign. Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk is pursuing a complaint against Horne in Maricopa County Superior Court, although an administrative law judge ruled earlier this year that there was not enough evidence to determine that Horne illegally coordinated with an independent committee that ran a number of last-minute campaign ads in the 2010 election.

Horne is facing Mark Brnovich, a former federal, state and county prosecutor, in the Aug. 29 primary. The winner of that race will face Democrat Felecia Rotellini in the November general election.

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