The Arizona Public Integrity Alliance has issued an apology to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne for the lack of integrity in their recent ads against him. The group acknowledged that claims they made in the hit pieces against him were untrue.
The Attorney General filed the lawsuit against the dark money group, as an individual, not in his official capacity. Arizona Public Integrity Alliance, under the direction of Steve Cox, Pace Ellsworth, Trevor Denton, Tyler Montague and Arizona Public Integrity Alliance Management Co., were named as defendants. In his filings, Horne claimed the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance is registered as a nonprofit, “in good standing,” but the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance Management Co. is “not in good standing” for failing to file an annual report.
In the lawsuit, Horne claimed that when Arizona Public Integrity Alliance published its ads, it “knew that any FBI investigation (whatever its merit was, if any) had ended more than a year earlier with no criminal conduct alleged.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
As part of that settlement, Arizona Public Integrity Alliance issued an apology for saying in their ads that Horne is still under investigation by the FBI. “That statement was not true when made; Horne was not under investigation by the FBI at the time of the ads airing. The Arizona Public Integrity Alliance, Inc. apologizes to Horne for the statement,” read the group’s press release.
Horne’s attorney, Sandra Slaton, said the settlement is confidential and would not comment on it.
The dark money group is continuing to air the ads but changed the language to note that Horne had previously been under FBI investigation.
The group, which has a total of 62 Facebook friends, changed the advertisement on their website and in their TV ads after Horne notified them of the false statements, but they did not change the ad on Arizona Public Integrity Alliance’s Facebook page.
Horne charged that the statements were made “intentionally to deceive the public as part of a strategy to illegitimately undermine Mr. Horne’s public standing before the 2014 election where Mr. Horne will be campaigning to be re-elected as the Arizona attorney general.”