Mark Brnovich: Time to Restore Integrity to the Attorney General's Office

2014-05-27T00:00:00Z 2014-08-05T12:55:44Z Mark Brnovich: Time to Restore Integrity to the Attorney General's OfficeBy Mark Brnovich Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The attorney general is the stateʼs chief law enforcement officer. He or she also works closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to keep our communities safe. The attorney general also represents the state in litigation and provides legal advice to various state agencies.

In a nutshell, the attorney general is the director of the stateʼs largest law firm.

Since my campaign to be the Republican candidate for state attorney general began, I have consistently emphasized the importance of integrity and character in our attorney general. Integrity was summed up by C.S. Lewis as doing the right thing, even when no one was watching.

But itʼs about more than that as our stateʼs top lawyer. The attorney general wields the sword of justice and holds the shield of our state sovereignty. That means he or she has the ability to affect the life, liberty, property and livelihood of every Arizonan. Itʼs a solemn obligation that requires an individual with a servantʼs heart who will reflect our Arizona priorities and values.

Unfortunately, the most recent allegations involving Tom Horne, the current attorney general and my opponent, demonstrate that once again he continues to fail to live up to the expectations for a public official, especially our attorney general. He continues to get headlines for the wrong reasons on a consistent basis, costing taxpayers not only money, but compromising our values and our stateʼs reputation.

As the only candidate for attorney general who has worked as a both a federal and state prosecutor, I appreciate that the role of a prosecutor is to ensure justice, and make sure the rights of victims are vindicated. Unfortunately, our current attorney general continues to spend too much time defending himself in courtrooms instead of protecting the publicʼs interests.

Just when we hoped the embarrassing headlines would stop, recent revelations expose an office where Tom Horne has allegedly fostered a culture of corruption, where the attorney general himself and executive employees appear to be using our precious tax dollars to orchestrate a full-scale political re-election campaign. Reading through the documents and exhibits, Horne is accused of forcing employees to choose between their livelihoods and personally serving him. This is wrong.

On a personal level, the information and documents reveal an even more disturbing issue beyond the misuse of tax dollars and state employees. Horne has used the stateʼs prosecutorʼs office to investigate and do “opposition research” on his political opponents. If true, this is nothing short of corruption. This is not the Arizona that I love so much.

I was brought up to believe we have an obligation to stand up to injustice and those who would bully the least among us. The attorney general has an obligation to use the power of the sword not to serve their own ends, but to do justice.

I am irreversibly committed to these ideals. As a former prosecutor and law enforcement agency director, the actions by Horne and his team have made me more resolute. I will not back down from the fight to restore integrity and character to the office of the attorney general. Arizonans expect and deserve at least that much.

Mark Brnovich, Republican candidate for Attorney General Contact Mark at mark@mark4az.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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