By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, The Arizona Republic
A staffer for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has resigned alleging in her letter of resignation that the office is "not following campaign laws or finance laws," imperiling her "legal well-being." Sarah Beattie worked for less than a year as an administrative assistant in the Attorney General's Office, answering questions from the public and providing support to Horne's Constituent Services Division. She also worked as a volunteer fundraiser for Horne's re-election campaign. Staffers are prohibited by law from working on political activities while on state time.
She notified the Arizona Attorney General's Office last week of her intent to resign. Her last day was Friday. It is unclear if Beattie continues to work on Horne's campaign.
She did not respond to requests for comment about her resignation and details about the allegations in her April 22 notice of resignation. Beattie was one of multiple Horne staffers who have assisted him in his re-election efforts. Staffers are not supposed to work on political activities while on state time. Horne responded to Beattie's accusation in a statement issued through his press secretary.
"The AG denies her statement, and in fact, calls it a complete fabrication," Horne said in the statement, adding that the office "consistently sends out guidelines to its employees regarding political activity in the office."
The Attorney General's Office said Beattie never raised "any official concerns with anyone in the office regarding her allegations."
According to her LinkedIn page, Beattie has worked in some capacity on campaigns for U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Ben Quayle, who lost re-election to Congress. Her profile also notes she worked as an executive assistant to McCain's campaign manager in 2009 and 2010. Beattie's resignation comes as Horne and his political-ally-turned-staffer Kathleen Winn await a decision from Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk about whether she will pursue a case involving allegations that they violated campaign-finance laws in 2010.
Earlier this month, an administrative law judge concluded there was not enough evidence to find Horne broke the law, saying prosecutors didn't prove he coordinated with Winn, who ran an independent expenditure committee that ran attack ads against his Democratic challenger. Polk wanted Horne to repay $400,000 to donors and up to three times that amount in civil fines. Polk can accept the administrative law judge's ruling, reject it or modify it.
Beattie began working for Horne in August 2013 in community outreach, earning a salary of $32,000; she was supervised by Winn. Her ending salary, according to the office, was $45,000.
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