SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Fiesta Bowl chief executive John Junker has been placed on administrative leave while officials investigate allegations of improper political campaign contributions and expense reimbursements by bowl employees.
Bowl organizers said Monday in a news release that an independent investigation is being conducted by a special committee of the board of directors consisting of retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Ruth McGregor and Fiesta Bowl Directors Jim Bruner and Steve Whiteman.
The board doesn't have a definitive timeframe for when the investigation will be completed.
In the interim, Alan Young, past chairman of the bowl and long-term volunteer, has agreed to serve as chief of staff for the organization.
In 2009, a report by the Arizona Republic raised questions about political donations made by employees of the Fiesta Bowl that may have been reimbursed by the bowl.
The report cited several unnamed past and present Fiesta Bowl employees as saying they were encouraged to write checks to friendly politicians and then were reimbursed by the bowl.
Such reimbursements would violate state and federal campaign finance laws, and could be misdemeanors or felonies.
Junker has said employees never were reimbursed and the bowl did not orchestrate donations.