When I think of the attorney general’s office at any level of our government, I feel it should be managed by someone who has one major characteristic. That characteristic is integrity.

That’s not the characteristic we have when it comes to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. Allegation after allegation has made it clear that ethics and integrity are simply talking points in a campaign for the man sworn to uphold Arizona’s laws and regulations.

From his days as our state’s superintendent of public instruction, to his current position as attorney general, Horne’s tenure as a public official is flawed not because of the people who he says have it out for him, but because of his own unethical behavior.

For Horne, there is no ethical line. If a line were drawn, he’d probably blame his age for not being able to see it. Because, as we all know, Horne is a politician with an excuse for everything.

It was no surprise last week when more allegations of Horne’s continued unethical behavior continued. Another former employee has come out with allegations of misconduct. While Horne just claims it’s another disgruntled employee, the proof so far seems to be solid.

Sarah Beattie, a former attorney general constituent services staffer, has filed a claim stating Horne is forcing his day-time staff to work harder on his reelection campaign than on attorney general needs. This means his staff, while being paid by our taxpayer dollars, are allegedly working on getting one of the state’s worst public officials reelected.

Beattie’s affidavit is accompanied by emails, calendar materials and metadata such as time-stamped cellphone photos and more showing Horne is requiring his staff to vet his primary and prospective general-election opponents during general work hours. The affidavit filed by Beattie claims she was maybe working two hours a day on taxpayer needs, and six hours a day on reelection efforts.

For Horne, Beattie is nothing more than yet another disgruntled employee.

Beattie’s complaint is now in the hands of Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

This isn’t the first time our state’s leader in enforcing laws of the land is being accused of misconduct.

Besides the Beattie allegations, the Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk announced that she is moving forward with charges against Tom Horne for allegedly acting illegally during the 2010, taking an estimated $400,000 in illegal contributions.

Polk alleges that Horne and aide Kathleen Winn illegally worked together on outside ads targeting Horne’s Democratic opponent before the November 2010 election. She ordered him to repay $400,000 to donors to the outside group and amend his campaign finance reports. He and Winn also could face up to $1.2 million in fines.

For Horne, Polk is just a sore loser because the case has apparently not gone her way so far through the courts. 

In the end, Horne sees himself as this perfect man with nothing but mean people who are out to get him and destroy him.

It is this editor’s opinion that he is a corrupt official tarnishing an important public office who will save us a lot of time and money if he would just retire now.

(3) comments


Six months ago I read the legal opinion of Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk regarding Horne's alleged collusion with a supposedly independent expenditure committee and it seemed pretty clear that Horne and Kathleen Wynne had conspired illegally to raise and spend money to purchase TV time to attack his opponent. Instead of stepping aside while the matter was adjudicated, Horne denied the charges and denigrated Ms. Polk. Now, according to Horne, Polk is just 'a county politician' completely incompetent to deal with election law. I agree with the Explorer: it's time for Horne to leave. Thanks for stating the case so strongly.

John Flanagan

If that is the case, nobody is above the law, however, we must not overlook the shenanigans of the Democrats either. Both parties need to follow the rules.



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