Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fiesta Bowl Politicians Are Cleared

by Gary Snyder

A Maricopa County (AZ) Attorney Bill Montgomery has cleared more than 30 Arizona politicians and three lobbyists of criminal wrongdoing in the Fiesta Bowl scandal, saying the state’s laws just weren’t tough enough for him to press charges.

“Despite the public’s legitimate expectations that current laws ensure a reasonable degree of open and honest government, Arizona’s statutes governing receipt of gifts and reporting requirements fall short of meeting those expectations,” Montgomery said.

Leading the list of politicians who benefited from the college football game was former state Sen. Russell Pearce, who reportedly took about $40,000 in tickets and trips over several years. Pearce came to national attention in 2010 for being the chief sponsor of Arizona’s harsh immigration law. Last month, he was voted out of office in a recall election, in part because of his role in the Fiesta Bowl scandal.

Montgomery isn’t the only one who’s been investigating the Fiesta Bowl. A federal grand jury last month indicted a bowl employee on suspicion of making illegal campaign contributions to various Arizona politicians. The indictment revealed that other, unnamed people were also under investigation but no one else has been charged so far.

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, ,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more • Nonprofits: On the Brink (iUniverse, 2006)
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