Fiesta Bowl Asks Politicians To Explain Free Trips, Tickets

The Fiesta Bowl barely made it out of the scandal caused by former CEO John Junker with its BCS affiliation intact. However, some Arizona politicians who received free trips or game tickets from the tax-exempt group still have questions to answer for.

The bowl has sent a letter of its efforts to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. Montgomery is investigating whether or not some lawmakers illegally received game tickets or gifts.

In the letter to Bennett, bowl attorney Nathan Hochman said the bowl is asking the politicians to document their participation "so that the Fiesta Bowl may have all salient information in determining which benefits, if any, were not in furtherance of the bowl’s tax-exempt purpose and therefore require reimbursement from the elected officials."

That list includes State Senate President Russell Pearce (received more than $39,000 in tickets, trips and other freebies), former Republican lawmaker Robert Blendu ($17,213 in freebies), and State Sen. Linda Lopez ($16,877).

Pearce allegedly went on Fiesta Bowl-sponsored VIP trips to other games in Denver, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Pasadena, Boston and Dallas.

Bowl lawyer Nathan Hochman explained in an interview with the AP that the main purpose of the letters is to comply with tax laws. The bowl maintains tax-exempt status.

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