The fired deputy director of the state agency that oversees public campaign funding took the first step Tuesday toward a lawsuit to get his job back.
Matt Shaffer of Scottsdale notified the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission that he will sue if he isn’t rehired or paid $260,000 within 60 days. Shaffer claims he was illegally terminated Oct. 1 because he refused to support commission executive director Colleen Connor in her efforts to punish former gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon over campaign spending violations.
In August, Shaffer cleared Salmon of wrongdoing in a series of spending reports that could have affected matching campaign contributions for Salmon’s publicly funded opponents in the Republican primary. Connor reversed the report provided by Shaffer days later, saying Salmon failed to follow commission deadlines in reporting several hundred thousand dollars of campaign spending.
Salmon is challenging a $10,000 fine levied by the commission last month and has filed a $3.2 million claim against the agency.
Shaffer claims the accusations against Salmon were politically motivated. But Connor said her actions were appropriate. "I deny all allegations of any violation of the law or abuse of authority," Connor said.