Aug 22, 2014 1:45 AM by Matthew Schwartz
Tucson - Adam Watters says he didn't do anything wrong. The Pima County Attorney is looking into that.
"If they believe something was done improperly, then the other committee can get another phone number. I mean, it's really not more than that. It's an administrative process, not a criminal process."
The News 4 Tucson Investigators obtained documents from the County Attorney's Office saying it is reviewing allegations that Watters' campaign for Justice of the Peace violated an election law. Here's why: the same phone number is on the signs for two separate campaign committees, one for Watters for Justice of the Peace, the other from the Committee for Judicial Integrity, which is behind the "Bad Pima Judge" signs, referring to Judge Anne Segal, Watters' opponent.
Election laws stipulate that campaigns must be independent entities. In a memo to the county attorney's office, which prompted its review, Pima County Election Board Director Brad Nelson wrote: "Given that the two committees formed at the same address and use the same phone number I find that I have reasonable cause that a violation of election law has occurred."
Watter, an attorney and former judge, says the committee consists of only two members and they didn't want to deal with any phone calls about the signs, so the phone number for his wife is on both committees' signs.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators asked Watters, "Did you think of just telling the Committee on Judicial Integrity to use someone else's phone number and name and address?" He said, "You know, it never occurred to me because I didn't believe and still don't believe it's a violation."
But someone who does think it's a violation is Robert Segal. He's the person who reported the alleged violation to the election director. Segal is the husband of Watters' opponent, Judge Anne Segal
Earlier this week, the News 4 Tucson Investigators reported that some of Segal's rulings in bad check cases are being reviewed by the Arizona Attorney General. Segal said she has a meeting with someone from the AG's office next month, but said she doesn't know what it's about.
Tom Volgy, the former Tucson Mayor and now a professor of Political Science at UA said, "If in fact there had been allegations about both people, it makes choices even more difficult. What they (voters) care about is the integrity of people who run for office."
Volgy thinks voters may be turned-off by both candidates due to the allegations, and he says that could translate into a light turnout on Tuesday. The job's pay isn't light: $101,500 a year.
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