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Fired ED sues Az Democratic Party, alleges self-dealing

According to a lawsuit filed earlier this month, the chairwoman of the Arizona Democratic Party directed campaign expenditures toward her friend and husband, and when the party's top staffer objected to the payments, she was fired.

Former Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director Sheila Healy claims in her lawsuit that a rift between her and Democratic Party Chairwoman Alexis Tameron grew out of Healy's attempts to stop "what appeared to be self-dealing by Ms. Tameron."

Healy said she objected to awarding a "large direct-mail contract to a close friend of Ms. Tameron," and "expressed concerns about the cost of a sizable digital contract awarded to Ms. Tameron's husband."

Tameron's husband, Adam Kinsey, is a partner at Saguaro Strategies. Campaign finance records show the Arizona Democratic Party paid $124,000 to Saguaro Strategies from its federal campaign account.

While Healy raises the issue of "self-dealing" in her lawsuit, the bulk of the complaint deals with how Healy's bonus was to be structured and whether she is owed more money since being fired by the Arizona Democratic Party.

Healy claims that she is owed $116,000, but she alleged in the lawsuit that the party offered to pay her only a $4,000 bonus.

Tameron said she will work with the party's attorneys to craft a response to Healy's complaint, and that it may deal mostly with the contract dispute, since Healy is seeking a monetary remedy for it. But Tameron insisted there was no "self-dealing" and said nothing unethical took place.

"The allegations are false. There is no self-dealing. She's making these claims only since she was let go from the party," Tameron said. "I believe she's trying to draw a narrative that doesn't exist." relies on contributions from our readers to support our reporting on Tucson's civic affairs. Donate to today!
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Tameron said expenditures made to her husband's company were approved by the party's treasurer, finance director and compliance director, before she was able to give final approval for the expenditures.

Healy did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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Latest comments on this storyRead all 5 »

Jan 27, 2017, 3:13 pm
-0 +0

Yes, problematic… I propose this re-write of the resolution:
Resolved: The Arizona Democratic Party should adopt a strict ethical standard that disallows the awarding of any contract or remuneration to any person or entity that has directly contributed to the Arizona Democratic Party in an amount in excess of $100 during the preceeding two-year period, or to any person or entity who is related to any officer or staff member of the Arizona Democratic Party.
The details can be worked out in a way that eliminates self-dealing and perceived self-dealing.

Jan 27, 2017, 12:03 pm
-0 +0

you said: “...  happens to have ANY relationship to ANY person who is related to ANY officer, staff member, or contributor to the Arizona Democratic Party.”

ANY relationship to any of those folks mentioned wold just about include half the state…. INCLUDING a number of Republicans.

Jan 24, 2017, 12:38 pm
-1 +0

You exaggerate.  We could only wish that half the residents of the state would contribute to the ADP!  (You certainly can access the actual numbers.)  But yes, that might be a good way to ensure that there could be no improper or unfair awarding/rewarding of contracts or other profitable work on the basis of relationship or making of contributions. We should protect against even the appearance of conflicts.  If professionals with strong political allegiances have the intention to provide services for fees to the party, then there are many other places they could aim their political-contributions.

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