Feathered Bastard

Doug Ducey's Flack Confirms Organized Crime Story

Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey's spokeswoman, Melissa DeLaney, declined to comment Tuesday when I contacted her regarding this week's cover story on Ducey's hailing from an infamous Toledo organized crime family.

But Wednesday, she gave a statement to the Arizona Republic's Laurie Roberts, and I'm glad she did, because she essentially confirmed the information in the article, written by myself and Lance Williams of The Center for Investigative Reporting.

Check it out:

In the United States of America and in the State of Arizona, people know you and judge you based on your life, the way you have lived it and your accomplishments, not on the actions of relatives from previous generations. The New Times correctly reported that the information about past family members does not touch Doug Ducey's life or career. This has been a tough campaign where both candidates have had their careers vetted, which is entirely appropriate when seeking a very high office. Doug trusts the voters of Arizona to make decisions based on the life he has led and his vision to create greater opportunities as the next governor.

Gee, Melissa, did it take you a whole day to write that?

For her part, Roberts tut-tuts New Times over the story, calling it "a bit of a yawner."

Hmm, an "all American" governor-wannabe with family members in organized crime?

You're so right, Laurie. Bor-ring.

But Roberts is intrigued enough to at least put forward one query.

"I asked DeLaney whether Ducey got any of his [Cold Stone Creamery] start-up funds from any of the four relatives mentioned in the article or as a result of criminal activity," she writes.

"[DeLaney's] answer: `No, absolutely not.'"

Well, that settles that.

I mean, it's not like Ducey's ever misled anyone about the details of his family tree.

He told us his dad was a cop. (True.) That he's the product of solid Midwestern values. (Debatable.) That his maternal grandparents taught him the importance of family. (Hilarious.)

He just omitted an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weenie bit of information.

After all, he just wants to be chief executive of the state.

On another note, I seem to be having a bit of trouble accessing the Facebook site of Ducey's mom Madeline Burk (nee Scott). It's her side of the family that's garnered the attention, you see.

I had linked to her FB page, specifically to a photo from her trip to visit her brother (Ducey's uncle) Billy Scott in 2011 on the Caribbean isle of St. Maarten, where Scott was living as he evaded American justice.

A notorious Toledo bookmaker, Scott had been indicted by the federal government in 1998 for running an illegal online betting company in Antigua called World Wide Tele-Sports.

Uncle Billy was making millions and had renounced his U.S. citizenship. He wasn't inclined to turn himself in to U.S. authorities, and the tiny nation was not willing to extradite a wealthy job-creator, as we call them these days.

So Uncle Sam went empty-handed until 2012, when Scott returned to the United States to plead guilty to international money-laundering.

As part of a plea deal, he forfeited $7 million in frozen assets, and received three years probation.

But in 2011, when sis and her hubby Ken Burk visited, he was still dodging the feds in the Caribbean.

As Burk's FB site is down, I reproduce it here, for the public record.

Lastly, some have assumed this week's cover story is the "October surprise" that former GOP gubernatorial Christine Jones was hinting about during the primary.

I mentioned this in passing in a column last month.

At the time, I wrote:

Former GoDaddy exec Christine Jones, who spent more than $5 million on her vanity bid for Ninth Floor of the Capitol only to place third, has warned voters of an "October surprise" with a Ducey candidacy, and there are rumors about this swirling, which if proved true, will be catastrophic for state Republicans.

Was our organized crime story the catastrophic rumor in question, the one I was referring to above?


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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons