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AG Horne Says Stonewalling Will Not Be Tolerated

PHOENIX (Thursday, August 4, 2011)  --  Attorney General Tom Horne today responded to a statement by Redistricting Commissioner Jose Herrera, who stated in public that he would not cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation and that he would not answer questions from the Attorney General’s Office.

Horne stated: “It is not my job to become involved with political disputes regarding the commission’s decisions.  It is my job to determine whether the law has been broken.  Serious allegations have been made about possible violations of the law concerning open meetings law and procurement.  If there have been no violations, we will indicate that, which will remove the cloud currently over the commission, and greatly benefit the commission in its work.  If we find, on the other hand, that there are violations, it is my duty to pursue them.  The public expects this of the Attorney General’s Office.  The public also expects, in view of the importance of the commission’s work, that my investigation will proceed quickly, and that delaying tactics will not be tolerated.”

“I have no preconceptions as to whether or not the law has been broken, but stonewalling on the part of any commissioner will not work.  It did not work in the Watergate scandal and it will not work here.  My office will be relentless in pursuing the facts, and no commissioner will succeed in attempting to hide relevant facts.”

The Attorney General’s Office has been attempting to pursue this investigation in a cooperative manner, but will also pursue the investigation using other tools, as appropriate, including A.R.S. §38-431.06 which states, relevant to alleged violations of the open meeting law:

A.R.S. §38-431.06

B. “… the Attorney General… may;

  1. Issue written investigative demands to any person.
  1. Administer an oath or affirmation to any person…

C. The written investigative demand shall:…

  1. Specify a place for taking the testimony… “