Former Lottery Director's Legal Problems Cost Arizona $160,000

The state paid more than $160,000 to defend, and then settle, a sex-discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against former Arizona Lottery Director Tony Bouie, records show.

Bouie contacted Phoenix New Times following Wednesday's article about the recent settlement with two women who he had fired from the Lottery office. He clarified that the private attorneys who defended him had been paid by the state, and that he didn't agree with the decision to settle the case.

The settlement, (see below), which was made official in court earlier this month, was intended to be confidential. But the settlement amount and legal fees paid by the state are still public record.

The records, obtained by New Times, show that plaintiffs Karen Bach and Jessica Reimann were each paid a $60,000 settlement by the state. The state paid $21,485.45 to defend Bouie against Bach, and $22,218 to defend against Reimann, for a total cost of $163,703.45.

Bouie was fired by Governor Doug Ducey in January 2016, about a year after he'd been appointed to the post, and two days after publication of a New Times article that discussed allegations against him. In an interview for the article, Bouie admitted he had taken his young children in a state car he had assigned to himself — an apparent violation of state policy.

Another grievance against Bouie by his critics was that he had fired employees and installed his friends to the newly vacant, high-paid jobs.

In a federal complaint filed in July 2016, Karen Bach and Jessica Reimann alleged that Bouie had committed sex discrimination with their terminations. Reimann also alleged that Bouie fired her in retaliation for informing a state investigator that Bouie had accepted two jackets as gifts from the Arizona Coyotes hockey team.

Reimann and Bach didn't return messages seeking comment.

Bouie said in Wednesday's article that he blamed Governor Doug Ducey and state politics for his termination, and that "it is important for me to get my good name back by noting that I did nothing wrong."

On Thursday, Bouie said he would examine the settlement terms and then call back with an additional statement.

He then did so, saying, "I must state the matter is resolved."

But the settlement doesn't state he can't say anything else, he said, so he would make another statement: "I did not agree with the state settling the lawsuit."

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.