Tom Horne wants hit-and-run case tossed - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM


Tom Horne wants hit-and-run case tossed

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Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne

The lawyer for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne wants a judge to dismiss a misdemeanor hit-and-run case against him.

The attorney says Horne is being singled out for prosecution because of his office and FBI agents who witnessed the incident while tailing him refuse to answer questions.

A court filing obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press accused the FBI's top agent in Arizona of calling Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia and asking him to investigate after agents tailing Horne saw him back into another vehicle and leave.

Horne's lawyer said the police did so even though it violated their own policy of not investigating cases involving less than $5,000 in damage.

Horne is accused in Phoenix city court of not stopping or leaving a note after the minor bump. He has pleaded not guilty.

In a statement on Friday, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said the misdemeanor hit-and-run investigation was "appropriately referred" to the Phoenix Police Department.

"The decision to refer the misdemeanor hit-and-run investigation involving Attorney General Tom Horne to the City of Phoenix Police Department was done at my direction following the conclusion of the investigation into the independent expenditure committee and the decision to not file felony charges. Ordinarily, towns and cities have primary jurisdiction over misdemeanors committed within their jurisdiction. Otherwise, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office only files misdemeanor charges where there are other felonies associated with the case. In this instance, because no felony charges were going to be filed, the misdemeanor case was appropriately referred to the municipal police department with jurisdiction over the alleged criminal offense.

"Additionally, since there was a time lag between the decision to not file felony charges and refer the misdemeanor investigation to the City of Phoenix, and an announcement of that decision, I asked the local Federal Bureau of Investigation office to give a courtesy call to the City of Phoenix Police Department and alert them that a high profile case was going to come to them for review. This was a courtesy notification and not out of the ordinary. I also asked that the City of Phoenix Prosecutor's office be given a courtesy notification that this matter might come to them for review.

"There was no political motivation to either refer the case to the City of Phoenix or to give the Phoenix Police Department courtesy notification that the case would be coming to them. Likewise, the courtesy notification to the City of Phoenix prosecutor's office was not politically motivated. In the course of reviewing cases and making charging decisions, these types of referrals and notifications are a regular course of business."

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.  CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.

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