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Arizona attorney general facing civil charges for campaign violations

Attorney General Tom Horne denies that he violated campaign finance laws. On Tuesday, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he is filing a civil action against the attorney general over alleged violations during Horne’s 2010 campaign. KJZZ’s Al Macias reports.

MACIAS: A tip to the FBI led to an 11-month investigation. According to County Attorney Bill Montgomery, the probe uncovered emails and phone conversations that showed Horne was coordinating with an independent expenditure group during his bid for office.

BILL MONTGOMERY: Just having a candidate and the head of an independent expenditure committee of a commercial or product on behalf of the is clearly prohibited.

MACIAS: Montgomery says he believes the communications were not accidental. He said civil penalties could be more than a million dollars. Attorney General Horne says he does not plan to settle.

TOM HORNE: I intend to prove the claims are false, yes. You never know sometimes cases settle but I intend to prove that they’re false.

MACIAS: If there is no quick settlement the county attorney says the legal battle could go on for a year or more.  Montgomery says he doesn’t think there is enough evidence to file criminal charges under Arizona law. Monday afternoon the U.S. attorney’s office it is not considering criminal charges either under federal law.