Clean Elections Commission OK's probe of Tom Horne

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona's Citizens Clean Elections Commission has decided that an election law complaint against Attorney General Tom Horne merits a full investigation.

The commission unanimously approved the inquiry at its meeting Thursday. The investigation will examine whether Horne violated the law by using his executive staff to work on his re-election campaign and could end in enforcement action.

Former Horne staffer Sarah Beattie filed a complaint with the commission and the secretary of state's office last month saying she was essentially hired to work on Horne's campaign. She also alleged that others in Horne's office also did substantial work on his campaign.

Horne denies the allegations.

The commission also denied Secretary of State Ken Bennett's request to appear in voter education ads while running for governor.