Richardson: Horne's behavior indicative of state law enforcement leaders - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Voices

Richardson: Horne's behavior indicative of state law enforcement leaders

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Retired Mesa master police officer Bill Richardson lives in the East Valley and can be reached at

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014 10:00 am

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has called for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne to resign from office.

According to the June 11 East Valley Tribune story, Maricopa County Attorney Montgomery calls for Horne's resignation, citing, “a lack of confidence in his ability to lead an organization of that size.”

The same day in an Arizona Republic story, “Maricopa County attorney calls on Horne to resign,” Montgomery said Horne’s behavior is "unacceptable" for someone in such an important law-enforcement position. The story went on to say, "If Tom really wanted to help the state, he would've resigned by now. All you've got to do is go back and look at everything that he's done and not done in office and the disgrace that he's brought to it, the lack of competence in his ability to lead an organization of that size, let alone a law-enforcement agency, and his shameless willingness to continue to try to be a Republican nominee for one of the more important law-enforcement positions in this state.”

Horne’s legacy of flaws and serious integrity issues goes back to his being severely sanctioned by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1973, Horne was banned for life from being “associated with any broker, dealer, investment adviser or registered investment company” by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission for violating anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws, and filing false financial reports. How Horne ever was admitted to practice law in Arizona is behind me after what he did in the early 70’s.

In 2010 the Arizona Republic reported Horne failed to list his bankruptcy from the 70s when he got in serious trouble with the feds on Arizona corporation papers. Horne said he forgot. Falsifying a public document is a felony in Arizona.

While there’s no doubt in the minds of many that Horne is a less than desirable state attorney general and makes a joke out of his status as Arizona’s chief law enforcement officer, he’s not the only one in Arizona law enforcement leadership with sleazy background, character flaws and a penchant for being less than honest and living up to the oath of officer to protect and serve the citizens of Arizona.

Horne just happens to be the most visible.

In my April 20, 2012, East Valley Tribune column, “Arizona lacking in good, honest law enforcement leaders,” I point out the integrity issues of a whole pack of current and former law enforcement officials in Arizona. And they’re just the “tip” of the proverbial iceberg when you look at Arizona history. From the Arizona Department of Public Safety to the Maricopa and Pinal county sheriff’s offices, the Tempe Police Department, and more, there’s plenty of stink that’s come from law enforcement agency heads besides Horne.

Integrity flaws seem to be all too common in Arizona law enforcement leadership positions.

Having anyone in law enforcement leadership you’d be afraid to buy a used car from is sad commentary on what Arizona law has become. And we all know that if there’s crookery and shenanigans at the top, it can trickle down the chain of command to the bottom.

Horne is representative of what Arizona has come to accept and tolerate of those who have a badge and a gun and wield the power to take one’s freedom away. Getting rid of Horne and restoring the people’s trust in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office would only be a good start.

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