Settlement Vindicates Arizona Businessman Max Fose in Nuisance Lawsuit

Home Settlement Vindicates Arizona Businessman Max Fose in Nuisance Lawsuit

December 5, 2017
Heather Marlette

Arizona businessman and political consultant Max Fose was the victor in a legal settlement last week. Mary Beth Hrin, a twice-failed political candidate who finished in last place, in her recent run for Mayor of Prescott, had sued Fose and the Arizona Voter Education Project for two ads critical of her candidacy. The court promptly denied her request for a temporary restraining order, and Hrin then withdrew her request for a preliminary injunction. Hrin is now walking away from the case even before discovery begins.

Under the settlement, Fose and the nonprofit organization denied all liability and will pay Hrin nothing. An insurance company will pay Hrin less than the value of their legal fees. Attorneys often refer to such settlements as the “nuisance value” of meritless cases.

Fose objected to the insurance company paying Hrin anything, and refused to personally sign the settlement paperwork if Hrin received even a nominal payment from the insurer. “Losing candidates always want to blame someone else,” said Fose, who serves as chairman of the Arizona Voter Education Project. “We ran a very effective campaign. Meanwhile, Mary Beth Hrin has run twice and lost twice. No lawsuit can change that.”

The settlement marked the second time in a week Hrin’s claims against Fose have been rebuked. On November 22, 2017, Prescott City Attorney Jon M. Paladini rejected Hrin’s claims against Fose in a strongly worded five-page letter.

Said Paladini: “This office finds that there is not reasonable cause to believe a violation of state campaign finance laws occurred. The Arizona Voter Education Project was not organized and does not have the primary purpose of influencing the result or outcome of an election.”

Hrin ran for Mayor of Prescott but finished in last place and failed to earn enough votes during the August 2017 Primary Election to advance to the November General Election. The loss follows on the heels of Hrin’s 2016 Yavapai County Supervisors defeat. During that campaign, Hrin lost in the Republican Primary to Supervisor Rowle Simmons. 

Fose, who runs IWS, a national advertising agency headquartered in Phoenix, has worked for many high profile political candidates across the United States.

“I’m proud of the reputation I’ve built over the years,” said the father of two. “We run very effective ad campaigns. Frivolous lawsuits and weak campaign finance complaints won’t change that.”


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