Gov. Doug Ducey’s former Arizona State Lottery director, who abruptly resigned in January following allegations of mismanagement of the agency, is under investigation by Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office.
Tony Bouie, appointed to the lottery post early in Ducey’s administration, has adamantly denied wrongdoing, telling The Arizona Republic last month, “There is much more to this story than is being told. I have followed the rules that I was trained on.”
Ryan Anderson, a spokesman for Brnovich, confirmed the probe Tuesday but declined to provide details on the allegations being examined. Anderson told The Republic the office’s criminal division is leading the probe. He said investigators have begun receiving records from the agency.
“We can’t discuss the specifics of ongoing investigations,” Anderson wrote in a statement, “but the attorney general is committed to investigating legitimate allegations of fraud or government mismanagement, and if appropriate, prosecuting.”
Bouie could not immediately be reached to discuss the investigation.
A recent Phoenix New Times article detailed Bouie’s use of a state car to transport one or more of his children, although Bouie told the publication it was “absolutely not true I’m using it for personal use.”
In the months leading up to Bouie’s resignation, critics raised questions about his management of the Lottery, including his hiring practices; agreements with sports teams or event organizers for seats or lofts; and spending to redecorate areas of the agency. The Attorney General’s Office, Ducey’s office and media outlets received a letter from what appeared to be a Lottery insider that detailed allegations against Bouie.
Communications between Bouie and Ducey staffers provided to the newspaper in response to a public-records request show that Bouie frequently communicated his successes to gubernatorial staffers. The records detailed savings to the department as well as its increase in sales and profits to beneficiaries.