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PHOENIX -- A judge has scheduled a hearing Friday on Attorney General Tom Horne's lawsuit seeking to block the state's campaign finance commission's investigation into allegations that office employees used work time and resources for Horne's re-election campaign.

Superior Court Judge Dawn Begin set the hearing on Horne's suit that contends the Citizens Clean Elections Commission lacks the authority to investigate candidates not participating in Arizona's public campaign funding system.

The commission voted last month to investigate former Horne staffer Sarah Beattie's allegations to see whether Horne's campaign received in-kind contributions.

Commission Executive Director Tom Collins said the commission does have authority to investigate the allegations.

Horne has denied the allegations, although he acknowledged in a formal response that some staff may have done a small amount of work on state time.

Associated Press,

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