Tom Horne

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Tom Horne
Tom Horne by Gage Skidmore.jpg
25th Arizona Attorney General
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Terry Goddard
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
In office
January 1, 2003 – January 1, 2011
Preceded by Jaime Molera
Succeeded by John Huppenthal
Personal details
Born (1945-03-28) March 28, 1945 (age 69)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marty[1]
Children Susan, Mary, David, and Mark[1]
Residence Arizona
Religion Jewish[citation needed]

Thomas Charles "Tom" Horne (born March 28, 1945)[1] is the current Arizona Attorney General ("AG"). He served as the Arizona Department of Education Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2003 to 2011.[2]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Horne is a graduate of Harvard College (1967) magnum cum laude and Harvard Law School (1970) with honors.[2][3]

During his 30 years of law practice, Horne served as Special Assistant Attorney General and a Judge Pro Tem in Maricopa County Superior Court and Arizona Court of Appeals.[4] Horne served as a teacher of Legal Writing at Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and is the author a legal text on construction law published by the State Bar of Arizona.[5] He is peer-rated 5/5.0 (AV Preeminent) by Martindale-Hubbell.[6]

Arizona House of Representatives[edit]

Horne served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1997 until 2001.[7] He chaired the Academic Accountability Committee and served as vice-chair of the Education Committee.[8]

State Superintendent of Public Instruction[edit]

Horne served as the elected Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2003-2011.[9]

Among his earliest acts in office was to push for a strengthening of Arizona’s social studies standards so that instruction on topics such as the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Greco-Roman basis of western civilization would be emphasized not only in elementary grades, but reiterated at later grade levels.[10]

Horne also made a priority of enforcement of Arizona’s voter-approved law mandating that English be the language of classroom instruction (with the exception of foreign language classes).[11]

He also pushed for nutritional standards that removed junk food from schools in the elementary grades and created incentives for secondary schools to do so on a voluntary basis.[12][13]

Testing protocols were also significantly changed during Horne’s administration. He oversaw the development of a dual-purpose assessment that was unique in combining assessments on both state and nationally-defined standards. This cut standardized testing time in half, restoring that time to classroom instruction.

Controversy arose when Horne sought to address curriculum matters as they related to racially-based studies.Horne was alerted to a race-based program in the Tucson Unified School District and, based on a review of the curriculum, championed a law to address the problems these materials presented.[14] A state law was passed that prohibited curricula that either: 1) Promote the overthrow of the United States government. 2) Promote resentment toward a race or class of people. 3) Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group. 4) Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.[15]

In his final act as Superintendent Horne found the Tucson district’s Ethnic Studies program, specifically the Mexican American (Raza) Studies component, to be out of compliance with this law.[16]

Horne was also successful in implementing the Arizona Instrument to Measure Success (AIMS) test, which was approved by the legislature in the 1990s, but did not go into effect until 2006.[17] Despite some controversy over the requirement that students pass the test before graduating high school, the test is now an accepted part of the state education system. Horne created an incentive program whereby students who exceed standards on the AIMS test and meet other criteria receive tuition scholarships to Arizona’s public universities.[18]

Attorney General[edit]

On November 2, 2010, Horne defeated Felecia Rotellini in the race for Arizona Attorney General in the 2010 elections.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is committed to combatting the drug epidemic in Arizona. He changed budget priorities when he took office to emphasize dismantling drug cartels in partnership with federal and local law enforcement. The following is a sampling of drug cartels that have been dismantled.

Mexican Sinaloa Cartel

Arrested 21 suspected members of a drug trafficking organization working on behalf of the Mexican sinaloa cartel. This operation effectively dismantled the organization that monopolized drug smuggling through the Tohono O’dham reservation on the border between Arizona and Mexico.

Cocaine Trafficking

Arrested 17 members of a large scale cocaine trafficking organization which had smuggled into the United States between 25 and 33 million dollars worth of cocaine. The operation dismantled a sophisticated and large scale cocaine smuggling enterprise which smuggled 35 kilograms of cocaine per day, 3 times per week, hidden in vehicles that entered through Nogales, Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays, like clockwork. That operation is dismantled.

Operation Pipeline Express

Completed “Operation Pipeline Express,” which involved the arrest of 76 individuals who smuggled more than 330 tons of illegal narcotics a year through Arizona’s western desert, generating almost 2 billion dollars in elicit proceeds. It had produced such huge profits by having a virtual monopoly of smuggling drugs over an 80 mile section of Arizona’s border with Mexico, from Yuma to Sells. It has been shut down.

Operation Crank Call

Arrested 217 people in connection with “Operation Crank Call,” which dismantled another operation linked to the sinaloa cartel. 12 million dollars in illegal drugs and 7.8 million dollars in case were seized.

Operation Crystal Lake

In Operation Crystal Lake, dismantled a large scale, sophisticated drug trafficking organization that was operating in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The drug trafficking organization was receiving hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine from sources in Mexico and then distributing the drugs throughout Phoenix and beyond. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement agents seized 125 pounds of methamphetamine, 90 pounds of cocaine, hundreds of pounds of marijuana and hash and numerous firearms.

Operation Sledgehammer

In Operation Sledgehammer Express, indicted members of the Guillermo Salazar Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO). This Organization picked up hundreds of pounds marijuana from backpackers in the desert and delivered the marijuana to various stash houses in Phoenix. Law enforcement agents seized 2,600 pounds of marijuana, approximately a quarter pound of methamphetamine and several guns. Fifteen members of this DTO were indicted for their involvement.

Operation Con-Air Two

Indicted members of the Cardenas-Ramirez DTO known as Operation Con-Air Two. This Organization was involved in the brokering of hundreds of pounds of marijuana and significant quantities of heroin between Mexico-based drug traffickers and groups located throughout the United States. Law enforcement agents seized approximately 1,000 pounds of marijuana, more than a kilogram of heroin, more than $75,000 and several guns.

Operation Chino Express

In Operation Chino Express, indicted members of the Avitia-Patron Organization. The Organization’s focus was to receive hundreds of pounds marijuana from Mexico-based drug traffickers and then forward the marijuana in commercial trucks to organizations in California. Agents identified the five individuals who were delivering and coordinating the shipment of the marijuana and it led to the seizure of hundreds of pounds of marijuana and the commercial trucks and trailers used by the Organization.

Operation Northern Lights

In Operation Northern Lights, indicted members of an Organization that had trafficked nearly 400 pounds of methamphetamine and received approximately $3 million of illegal drug proceeds in the eight months preceding the investigation. During the course of the investigation, agents seized approximately 40 pounds of methamphetamine and over 15 pounds of heroin.

Operation Solidarity

In Operation Solidarity, arrested members of cells that were responsible for smuggling large amounts of cocaine into the United States and subsequently transporting the cocaine to locations on the east coast. This investigation identified the Mexico source of supply for the cocaine, the brokers who coordinated the transportation of cocaine across the border for the suppliers, as well as the distribution cells which shipped cocaine to clients on the east coast. This DTO transported over 300 kilograms of cocaine valued at $6,900,000 during a six month period.

Operation Portera

The Section supported a wiretap investigation into members of a criminal enterprise working on behalf of the Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel which resulted in the indictment of 44 people on charges related to drug trafficking, human smuggling and money laundering. This group was responsible for coordinating importation of multi-ton quantities of marijuana and illegal aliens from Mexico into the United States through the San Miguel Gate area and the smuggling of bulk drug proceeds and assault weapons back into Mexico. Law enforcement intelligence linked over 150 drug seizures since May 2008 totaling approximately 28,000 pounds of marijuana to the enterprise. Since September, 2011, 27 defendants have pled guilty and 12 were sentenced to prison. On July 9, 2012, a lead defendant with no prior criminal record was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Operation Triple Threat

From January, 2011 to September, 2011, the Section supported a DEA wiretap investigation into a large scale drug trafficking organization responsible for smuggling approximately 1,300 kilograms of cocaine valued at $30,000,000 into the U.S. through the Nogales Port of Entry. The organization used three separate vehicles with hidden compartments to smuggle approximately 35 kilograms of cocaine per day, three times per week, and used these same vehicles to smuggle large amounts of U.S. currency back into Mexico. Once in the United States, the cocaine was being stored at various Phoenix area stash houses. On September 21, 2011, simultaneous search and arrest warrants were executed on suspected members of the drug trafficking organization and their stash houses. Police seized approximately 37 kilograms of cocaine and $262,636.00 in U.S. currency. Of the 23 defendants indicted, 10 have entered guilty pleas. Prison pleas range from 2-8.75 years for stash house operators and 8-15 for drug transporters. Prosecution is on-going.

State v. Rascon-Ramirez et. Al

A wiretap investigation resulted in the arrests of 21 of 28 suspected members of a large-scale marijuana trafficking organization responsible for smuggling over 30,000 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value between $9,000,000 and $15,000,000. This criminal enterprise used various smuggling methods, including backpackers and drive-thru vehicles, to transport illegal drugs. This coordinated take-down by law enforcement impacted the cartel plaza bosses in Naco, Mexico and dismantled an organized drug transportation cell in Southern Arizona. Prosecution is on-going with several defendants scheduled to enter changes of plea.

State v. Jose Antonio Morgan et al

In January, 2012, after a wiretap investigation, police executed simultaneous search and arrest warrants on suspected members of the drug trafficking organization and their stash houses. This criminal enterprise smuggled large amounts of marijuana and cocaine into the United States through the Nogales Port of Entry using tracker trailer dump trucks with scrap metal as cover, vehicles with hidden compartments, and backpackers, then smuggled large amounts of U.S. currency back into Mexico. Once in the United States, the marijuana and cocaine was being stored at various stash houses in the Nogales, Rio Rico, Tucson, and Phoenix areas. The organization has been responsible for smuggling over 19.1 kilograms of cocaine and 2,952 pounds of marijuana into the United States with a street value estimated to be between $2,631,600 and $2,126,400. Of the 15 defendants indicted, 14 were arrested. Prosecution is on-going.

State v. Juan Aguayo

In January, 2012, the Section obtained a conviction after a jury trial against Juan Aguayo for transporting 4,500 pounds of marijuana valued at $2.2 million dollars concealed inside his cattle trailer. After substantial pretrial litigation, including disclosure motions and efforts to present a duress defense, the defendant was convicted at trial. He absconded and will face mandatory prison up to 12.5 years when he is arrested.[19]


Securities Law Violations[edit]

Horne was the president of T.C. Horne & Co., an investment firm he founded in the late 1960s. After the firm went bankrupt in 1970, Horne received a lifetime trading ban from the Securities and Exchange Commission.[20] The 1973 SEC report alleged that as president of T.C. Horne & Co, Horne "among other things, violated the record-keeping, anti-fraud, and broker-dealer net capital provisions of the federal securities laws and filed false financial reports with the commission." Horne stipulated to an SEC finding that he and his firm "willfully aided and abetted" in violations of securities laws.[20]

Office Affair and Whistleblower Investigation[edit]

In July, 2011, the Phoenix New Times broke a story about a woman who had been hired by Horne to a senior position at the Arizona Attorney General's office, despite her not having a license to practice law, and alleging that Horne and the woman were carrying on an affair.[21] When the New Times reporter filed a Freedom of Information Act request for public records regarding the woman's hiring, Horne launched a confidential internal investigation to find the whistleblower who had leaked information regarding the woman to the media.[22]

As part of that investigation, Horne assigned members of his staff to spend months looking into the matter, and spoke about having his employees' phone conversations eavesdropped upon—something which, records show, he knew was illegal. During the investigation, the staff member in charge found evidence of illegal campaign activity by Horne and other members of the Attorney General's office, and forwarded that information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[23]

In October, 2012, other local media outlets in Phoenix published articles citing public records, sources in the Attorney General's office, and FBI records supporting the allegations of an affair made by the Phoenix New Times over a year earlier.[23][24][25]

Campaign Finance Law Violations[edit]

In October, 2012, after an FBI investigation, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery concluded that Horne deliberately broke campaign finance laws during his 2010 election campaign by coordinating with an independent expenditure committee run by Kathleen Winn.[26] In April, 2014, an Administrative Law Judge concluded that the prosecution in the case "failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence" that Horne illegally coordinated with the independent expenditure committee during the 2010 general election campaign for attorney general [27] In May, 2014, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, to whom that matter has been referred, rejected the administrative judge's recommendation, and issued a final administrative decision ordering Horne and Winn to reimburse campaign donors $400,000. This ruling is currently under appeal.[28][29]

Allegations of Campaign Law Violations[edit]

On May 5, 2014, an attorney representing a former AG staff member and ex-Horne campaign volunteer, filed a litigation hold letter with the Arizona Attorney General's office, alleging that much of Horne's executive office staff is involved in "substantial campaigning" for his 2014 re-election, "while on state time and utilizing State resources," which, if proven true, could "represent a substantial violation of State and Federal laws which prohibit such conduct"[30]

The allegations first arose in the AG staffer's letter of resignation, which claimed that the office is "not following campaign laws or finance laws," imperiling her "legal well-being." Horne has denied the allegations, calling them a "complete fabrication." [31][32]

On July 7, 2014, the Arizona Secretary of State's Office released a memo, finding probable cause that Horne violated several campaign-finance laws related to allegations that Horne had employees doing his campaign work on state time, at the AG's office.[33][34]

Traffic Violations[edit]

In October, 2007, while State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Horne was cited for criminal speeding in Scottsdale, Arizona. During a subsequent year-and-a-half period, Horne was cited for speeding six additional times, including once in a school zone.[35][36][37] The criminal speeding charge was settled as a traffic offense.[38]

In March, 2012, while tailing Horne as part of an investigation into campaign finance law violations, FBI agents observed Horne leaving the scene of an accident. An FBI agent took a picture of a black mark on the parked car, which was shown on the front page of the newspaper. The FBI report stated Montano [owner of car] advised that he was unaware vehicle had been hit by another vehicle until SA Grehoski called him to arrange for the interview. Montano advised that the black mark on the front passenger side of the bumper came from when his son was parking the vehicle in the garage. Realizing that it was questionable whether Horne did any damage, the City Attorney agreed to a settlement in which Horne paid a $300 fine.[39]

2014 Attorney General primary[edit]

On August 26, 2014, Horne was defeated in his reelection campaign in the Republican primary by Mark Brnovich. Brnovich defeated Horne by a margin of 54% to 46%.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Candidate Q & A: Tom Horne (REP) - Attorney General Candidate". Arizona Republic. 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  2. ^ a b "Meet the Attorney General". Arizona Attorney General. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  3. ^ "Attorney General Tom Horne Biography - Project Vote Smart". 1945-03-28. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  4. ^ "Tom Horne". NAAG. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  5. ^ "Arizona Construction Law: Thomas C. Horne: 9780887260032: Books". Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  6. ^ "Thomas C. Horne Lawyer Profile on". 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  7. ^ "Tom Horne touts his legal background, success as superintendent". Arizona Republic. 2010-07-11. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  8. ^ "Phoenix School of Law: News & Events". Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Arizona Legislature; Arizona Revised Statue 15-112
  16. ^ AZ Capitol Times Horne: Tucson District Violates Ethnic Studies Ban 3 January 2011.
  17. ^'s_Instrument_to_Measure_Standards
  18. ^ East Valley Tribune; More students hit mark for AIMS High Honors Tuition Scholarships 22 January 2009.
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b "Attorney-general candidate Tom Horne denied 1970 bankruptcy". 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  21. ^ Stephen Lemons (2011-07-14). "Attorney General Horne Hired Carmen Chenal to a Highly Paid Top Post - 'Cause She's His Goomba - Page 1 - News - Phoenix". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  22. ^ "Investigation of Tom Horne detailed in hundreds of pages of documents". 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  23. ^ a b Dave Biscobing, Mark LaMet, and Lauren Gilger. "Documents: Attorney General Tom Horne launched investigation to keep relationship quiet". Oct. 8, 2012.
  24. ^ [2][dead link]
  25. ^ Laurie Roberts, columnist - Oct. 23, 2012 . Horne's office fit for a soap opera.
  26. ^ Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Craig Harris - Oct. 1, 2012. County Attorney: AG Tom Horne broke law.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Horne has gotten 6 speeding tickets in past 1 1/2 years The Arizona Republic 21 August 2009.
  36. ^ "Tom Horne Court Records". 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  37. ^ Who said it: Felecia Rotellini. "AZ Fact Check". Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ Wingett Sanchez, Yvonne (2014-08-27). "Horne concedes attorney general race to Brnovich". Arizona Republic. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

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