Trials & Litigation
State AG wants misdemeanor hit-and-run charges against him dismissed
Posted Feb 14, 2013 1:40 PM CST
By Mark Hansen
Ariz. Attorney General Tom Horne is seeking the dismissal of misdemeanor hit-and-run charges against him on the grounds that he's being singled out for special prosecution as part of a political vendetta by FBI agents.
Horne is accused of backing his borrowed car into another vehicle in a Phoenix parking lot in March 2012 and leaving the scene of the accident without stopping or leaving a note for the other driver, the Associated Press reports.
FBI agents, who were tailing Horne at the time as part of an apparent campaign finance investigation, reportedly witnessed the incident, but waited seven months before notifying Phoenix police that it happened.
FBI reports released by the police at the time the hit-and-run charges were filed say Horne left the scene because he was having an affair with a female staffer who was in the car with him at the time and didn't want the affair to come to light.
Horne has declined comment on the reported affair, but has insisted he didn't know he had caused any damage to the other vehicle.
Horne's dismissal motion accuses the FBI's top Arizona agent of personally calling Phoenix Police Chief Daniel V. Garcia and asking him to investigate the incident, even though it violated the department's own policy of not investigating cases involving less than $5,000 in private property damage, according to the AP.
Michael Kimerer, Horne's lawyer, said the only logical explanation for doing so is that Horne is an elected official.
"It just shows animus the way they pursued this," Kimerer told the AP. "They were just rabid to get him."
Horne is also facing allegations that he worked illegally with an independent political campaign committee that ran attack ads against his opponent in the 2010 election. He has said those allegations were "conjured up" by a disgruntled former employee.