Wil Cardon's siblings are taking him to court, accusing him of misspending the family's trust funds, at least in part on his political ambitions.
The lawsuit, filed last week in Maricopa County Superior Court, contends that Cardon transferred about $9.7 million of family holdings for his personal use. That includes $6.5 million he spent in his unsuccessful bid for the 2012 Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, losing to Jeff Flake who eventually won the general election.
There was also another $3.2 million transfer made last month.
Nothing in the lawsuit, filed by six of his seven siblings, alleges Cardon is improperly using family funds in his current bid to become secretary of state. The most recent campaign finance reports show that Cardon had loaned himself $133,500 through the end of May.
But Cardon's attorney, Michael Manning, said the lawsuit is little more than a bid by the plaintiffs to use Cardon's current race to get a bigger share of the family pie that traces its roots to Cardon's grandfather who invested in gasoline stations and real estate.
Manning said Cardon “has acted in complete accord with the letter and spirit of that family agreement.” He said his client always has acted will "full prior notice'' to other family members.
“With Wil running for secretary of state, however, his siblings filed this lawsuit seeking to opportunistically and unlawfully enlarge their share of the family assets,” Manning said in a prepared statement, calling the legal action “baseless.”
The 71-page lawsuit seeks to remove Cardon as trustee as well as an accounting of the funds. It also seeks a temporary restraining order to prevent Cardon from transferring any of the assets while the case makes its way through trial.
A hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
Cardon is in a three-way race for the GOP nomination for secretary of state with state Sen. Michele Reagan and Rep. Justin Pierce. The survivor will face off in November against Democrat Terry Goddard.