PHOENIX - ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing has obtained hundreds of pages of documents that raise questions about allegations that Attorney General Tom Horne violated campaign finance laws.
The documents include internal investigative reports, memos, emails and personal notes.
The records, obtained by ABC15 through Freedom of Information Laws, provide details about how two women hired by Attorney General Tom Horne are connected to an ongoing investigation being conducted by the FBI and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
The probe was spurred by whistleblowers inside Horne's own office who took allegations of campaign finance violations and a cover-up to the FBI and other officials.
You can read more about this investigation here.
And you can read one of our original stories about the allegations here .
Attorney General Tom Horne has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and to date nobody has been charged in connection with the case.
The documents provide details about how many of the allegations surround two women Horne hired when he became Arizona Attorney General.
Horne first hired Carmen Chenal when he was the head of the Arizona Department of Education.
Sources say she is a personal friend of Horne and his wife.
Horne hired Carmen Chenal again in 2010 when he won election as Arizona Attorney General even though she had lost her law license to a suspension back in 2005 for a series of repeated violations.
Despite not having a license to practice law, Chenal was hired by Horne in 2010.
Horne hired Chenal and paid her $108,000 per year to develop strategic planning strategies for various departments at the Arizona Attorney General's Office.
ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing revealed that after hiring Chenal, in 2011 Horne testified in an effort to help Carmen Chenal get her law license back.
Some of the records of Horne's role in Chenal's effort to get her law license back have been sealed.
Back in July of 2010, Phoenix New Times Reporter Stephen Lemons revealed Carmen Chenal’s legal woes in a story he wrote about her hiring.
You can read Lemons' story here .
When Lemons started asking questions about Chenal’s hiring and filed Freedom of Information Act requests for public records from the Attorney General’s office, Tom Horne ordered an extensive internal investigation.
He wanted to know who had leaked information to members of the media about Carmen Chenal and he chose Investigator Meg Hinchey to spearhead the internal probe.
Employees of the attorney general’s office were questioned about their contacts with reporters and their cell phone records were examined.
Hinchey brought some of her findings to the FBI.
Read more about Hinchey’s investigation here .
Some of the documents and Hinchey's investigative reports obtained by ABC15 Investigators are also in the hands of the FBI.
Those records also reveal information about a second woman Horne hired, Kathleen Winn.
Winn earns $100,000 per year as the Director of Community Outreach for Attorney General Tom Horne.
But the reports we’ve obtained indicate Winn has another job doing outside work in real estate while on the attorney general’s payroll.
There are allegations in the hundreds of pages of documents that Winn has used state resources and her contacts from her work at the attorney general’s office to do her outside real estate work on state time.
Kathleen Winn was actively involved in getting Horne elected Attorney General.
She helped establish an independent campaign committee called Business Leaders for Arizona.
The Political Action Committee raised more than $400,000 to pay for campaign commercials attacking Horne’s opponent.
More than $100,000 was contributed to the committee by Horne’s brother brother-in-law according to records we have reviewed.
Hinchey reported allegations that Horne illegally directed activities of the independent expenditure committee in violation of state election law to the FBI.
You can read more about the allegations and see some of the related documents here .
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery would not answer questions about the case, but he acknowledged that grand jury subpoenas with identifying info from his office have been served and sources tell us FBI agents have questioned several of Horne’s employees.
Tom Horne issued a written reply to our inquiries saying Winn’s outside work in real estate did not violate state law intended to prevent conflicts of interest.
Horne has denied any wrongdoing and has indicated he believes he will be vindicated once the investigation is complete.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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