PHOENIX, AZ (February 15, 2013) – In order to address questions regarding the decision to send the misdemeanor hit-and-run investigation involving Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne to the Phoenix Police Department and the circumstances surrounding that decision, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery issued the following statement.
The decision to refer the misdemeanor hit-and-run investigation involving Attorney General Tom Horne to the City of Phoenix Police Department was done at my direction following the conclusion of the investigation into the independent expenditure committee and the decision to not file felony charges. Ordinarily, towns and cities have primary jurisdiction over misdemeanors committed within their jurisdiction. Otherwise, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office only files misdemeanor charges where there are other felonies associated with the case. In this instance, because no felony charges were going to be filed, the misdemeanor case was appropriately referred to the municipal police department with jurisdiction over the alleged criminal offense.
Additionally, since there was a time lag between the decision to not file felony charges and refer the misdemeanor investigation to the City of Phoenix, and an announcement of that decision, I asked the local Federal Bureau of Investigation office to give a courtesy call to the City of Phoenix Police Department and alert them that a high profile case was going to come to them for review. This was a courtesy notification and not out of the ordinary. I also asked that the City of Phoenix Prosecutor’s office be given a courtesy notification that this matter might come to them for review.
There was no political motivation to either refer the case to the City of Phoenix or to give the Phoenix Police Department courtesy notification that the case would be coming to them. Likewise, the courtesy notification to the City of Phoenix prosecutor’s office was not politically motivated. In the course of reviewing cases and making charging decisions, these types of referrals and notifications are a regular course of business.