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Horne campaign finance case sent to Yavapai County prosecutor

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk has agreed to pursue campaign finance allegations against Attorney General Tom Horne and a top aide.

Arizona Solicitor General Robert Ellman, who reports directly to Horne, stated in a June 27 letter to Polk that he was referring the case to her office to avoid a conflict of interest in the case.
Ellman told Polk, a Republican, she was free from any direction from the Attorney General’s Office.

The case wound up with Polk after a judge ruled that Secretary of State Ken Bennett did not follow proper procedure for such cases and he must first refer it to the Attorney General even though it involves Horne, a Republican.

A joint investigation in 2012 between the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and the FBI determined that Horne coordinated with Kathleen Winn and an independent expenditure committee she ran that spent $500,000 on ads attacking his Democratic opponent. Horne and Winn denied the allegations.

Bennett originally referred the case to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, but Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Rea found in May that Bennett was required by law to send the case to Horne, who would then have to declare a conflict of interest and refer it to another agency.

Bennett on June 27 sent the case to Ellman.

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