The battle over Nan Nesvig’s failed bid for Scottsdale City Council continues. The city has decided to hire an outside attorney to consider whether an investigation is warranted into allegations of campaign finance violations by her political foes.
City Clerk Carolyn Jagger said she will receive advice from independent counsel before responding to a request from Nesvig’s campaign, asking that the city launch a probe to determine if the group responsible for ousting the former candidate illegally operated as a political action committee.
Nesvig, a 43-year-old legal consultant and first-time candidate, withdrew from the March 14 ballot earlier this month after the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office found she did not gather enough voter signatures.
The county inspection was ordered in connection with a complaint filed Dec. 23 alleging that as many as a third of Nesvig’s 1,899 petition signatures were invalid.
County inspectors determined Nesvig fell 81 signatures short of the 1,652 minimum to become a candidate.
With Nesvig out of the race, only Tony Nelssen remains to challenge three council incumbents.
The incumbents — Wayne Ecton, Bob Littlefield and Kevin Osterman — are paying legal bills on the complaint.
They say it was their supporters who initiated the complaint without their knowledge; they refuse to divulge the names of exactly who is responsible for the complaint.
The complaint was filed under the name of Karl Kulick, a south Scottsdale resident previously unknown in the city’s political circles.
The incumbents have said they do not know Kulick or how he is involved in the complaint.
Tom Irvine, an attorney for the complaint’s backers, has asked Jagger to ignore the investigation request. In a letter to the city clerk on Monday, Irvine lashed out at Nesvig as well as Councilman Jim Lane, who has been critical of the incumbents’ unwillingness to disclose who started the complaint. “Lane’s motives are intensely political as well and likely go to his 2008 ambitions and other perceived slights he appears to take personally,” Irvine states in the letter.
Lane said he was puzzled by Irvine’s allegation.
“I’ve never worked with (Nesvig) on a campaign, I didn’t even sign her petition, I’ve never contributed any funds to her at all,” Lane said.
“Did I like what was on her platform? Yeah, I thought it was fine.”