By Beau Hodai
A former Corrections Corporation of America “senior director of business development” and lobbyist is planning to run for the office of Arizona’s top law enforcement officer.
On September 3, Arizona Department of Gaming Director Mark Brnovich sent a letter to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, declaring his intention to resign his post, effective September 20. In the months preceding this resignation, Brnovich stated serious consideration of a bid for the office of Arizona Attorney General. While Brnovich has yet to file any formal campaign/committee registration documents with the Office of the Arizona Secretary of State Division of Elections, the Capitol Times reported on September 4, that Brnovich had reserved the website address, “mark4ag.com,” on August 23.
Brnovich, a Republican, would likely be challenging incumbent Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne in the 2014 Republican primary election for the office. Over the past year Horne has been the subject of both federal and Maricopa County (home to Arizona’s urban center, the Phoenix metropolitan area) investigations into alleged campaign law violations, in that Horne allegedly coordinated with an independent expenditure committee in the creation of negative ads targeted at his Democrat opponent during the 2010 election.
While Brnovich may well be qualified for the office of Attorney General, having previously served as an assistant Arizona Attorney General under former Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull, and having previously served as a deputy Maricopa County Attorney from August of 1991 to May of 1998, Brnovich is not without his own possible serious lapses in ethical judgement. According to statements of financial disclosure filed with the Office of the Arizona Secretary of State Division of Elections by Brnovich’s wife, former Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner and current Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Susan Brnovich, Mark Brnovich served as a “senior director of business development” for Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) during the course of 2005, 2006 and 2007. As will be discussed, CCA was not Brnovich’s sole source of employment during this time– and Brnovich’s employment by/on behalf of CCA during 2007 in particular may be the source of a severe conflict of interest in the prospective Arizona Attorney General’s past. Continue reading