Judge reconsiders tossing suit from AG Horne aide - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

UPDATE

Judge reconsiders tossing suit from AG Horne aide

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County Attorney Bill Montgomery said county prosecutors are lodging a civil enforcement action against Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne for alleged campaign finance violations during his 2010 campaign. County Attorney Bill Montgomery said county prosecutors are lodging a civil enforcement action against Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne for alleged campaign finance violations during his 2010 campaign.
The allegations against Attorney General Tom Horne stem from an FBI investigation into an independent expenditure group that was led by a Horne ally. The allegations against Attorney General Tom Horne stem from an FBI investigation into an independent expenditure group that was led by a Horne ally.

A Superior Court judge in Phoenix will reconsider her decision to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to declare Arizona's campaign contribution limits unconstitutionally low.

The suit filed by Kathleen Winn was dismissed last month by Judge Sally Duncan.

Winn is an aide to Attorney General Tom Horne. She has been accused by the Yavapai County Attorney of illegally coordinating campaign spending with him in his 2010 election while she ran an independent committee.

Winn is seeking to sidetrack that case by nullifying the contribution limits.

The suit was dismissed because no case was pending and Winn hadn't exhausted other legal remedies. Winn asked for it to be revived after County Attorney Sheila Polk filed the civil complaint against Winn and Horne on Oct. 17.

A hearing is set for Dec. 6.

Horne and Winn have denied the allegations.

[Click here to read a Sept. 18th letter from Bill Montgomery to Secretary of State Ken Bennett (PDF)] 

[Click here to read a Sept. 20th letter from Ken Bennett to Bill Montgomery (PDF)]

In October of 2012, Horne released this statement on the allegations:

"The charges regarding the 2010 election are totally false. There was no coordination between the campaign and the independent campaign. The law permits people to have contact, so long as there is no coordination or direction of the expenditure by the candidate, which there was not in this case. This will be completely proven to be true during the legal process.

"The chairman of the independent campaign, Kathleen Winn, chose from whom to request contributions, made the requests, chose the consultant, prepared the ad, and did all other tasks associated with the expenditure, independently and without any input from Horne. Horne never referred anyone to an independent campaign to make a contribution. He never suggested to anyone with the independent campaign names of people to be solicited for contributions. He never attended an event for an independent campaign. He never spoke to anyone about making a contribution to an independent campaign. He never spoke to anyone about choosing the consultant, preparing the ad, or any other aspect of the independent expenditure.

"This can be seen from the results. For example, Horne's Campaign had 1,900 contributors. The independent campaign had seven. If there had been coordination, the independent campaign would have had hundreds of contributors.

"Mr. Montgomery stated that he had taken action against the independent campaign that supported Felecia Rotellini and that opposed me. It should be added that an independent law judge has already found that campaign violated campaign law by not registering or making required disclosures. Also, on September 14, 2010, Felecia Rotellini attended a meeting of the Democratic Attorney General's Association and gave a speech there, which led to their decision to fund her independent campaign. Tom Horne never did anything like that.

"In this case, by contrast, it will be fully and completely proven that the claims are false."

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.  CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.

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