Ex-Phoenix lobbyist indicted over contributions

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- A former Phoenix lobbyist has been indicted for allegedly using his firm's money to reimburse staff after directing them to make specific political campaign contributions.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office announced Thursday that Gary Husk and his company have been accused of one count of conspiracy to make prohibited political contributions and seven counts of prohibited contributions.

Prosecutors say the contributions went to high-profile politicians with whom Husk allegedly sought access and influence, including Gov. Jan Brewer.

They say there's no indication any of the politicians knew they received the illegal contributions from 2007 to 2010.

Husk is a former state and federal prosecutor. He's been served with a summons to appear Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Husk reportedly could lose his law license if convicted in the case.

Statement from Husk's attorney Rick Romley:
“We are quite surprised by these allegations given the fact that as recently as 2010 Attorney General Horne and Rick Bistrow enlisted the assistance of Gary Husk in Tom Horne’s political fundraising. Andrew Pacheco did the same when he ran for elected office.
It is significant that the top three officials in the Attorney General's Office have personal experience with Mr. Husk and are fully aware that he did not engage in any improprieties. We are confident that their testimony, and that of numerous other political candidates, will prove that Gary Husk is innocent.
These trumped-up charges are 100% false. Gary has done absolutely nothing wrong.
Millions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent over 3 years by an Attorney General’s office who tried to tie my client to the Fiesta Bowl scandal. They turned over every rock and every receipt, even staging a raid of his office for the media, and they turned up nothing. Their lack of an indictment on that issue after three years proves he is innocent.
Now, to save face, these prosecutors have filed a set of absurd charges to justify their years-long investigation.
We will prove in court that the Attorney General’s office has handed out sweetheart deal after sweetheart deal to their “witnesses” in exchange for what will prove to be baseless claims.”