Clean Elections Director: Horne Should Repay $300K For Using State Offices, Staff In Re-Election
The executive director of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission says Attorney General Tom Horne should repay the state for using his offices and executive staff to work on his re-election campaign.
Tom Collins told the five-member commission in a memo there's enough evidence to believe Horne broke elections laws and asked commissioners to adopt his recommendation at their meeting on Thursday. That would require Horne to repay more than $300,000 dollars.
If the commission adopts the recommendation, Horne has the chance to explain why Collins was wrong, repay the money or negotiate a settlement. The commission may initiate enforcement action if the case isn't settled. That could include civil penalties and at worst the removal of Horne from office.
Collins came up with the $312,000 figure by prorating the salaries of the state employees who volunteered for Horne's campaign for eight months.
Former Horne staffer Sarah Beattie filed a complaint in May saying she was essentially hired to work on Horne's campaign and that others in Horne's office also did substantial campaign work.
Horne has denied the allegations.