Video evidence of former Arizona Lottery Director Tony Bouie's misuse of a state vehicle was released by the state, along with records detailing extravagant renovation he had done of his office area.
Bouie, a businessman and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers professional football player, was appointed to his post in January by Governor Doug Ducey, but he was never confirmed because of state Senator Kimberly Yee's concerns about his inexperience.
He resigned two days after publication of a New Times story about an anonymous whistle-blower's many complaints about him and the day before he was to meet with Yee about various problems she'd heard about his management of the agency.
This week, the Arizona Attorney General's Office announced that an investigation into unspecified allegations against Bouie was under way.
One of the whistle-blower's allegations was that Bouie had hired a design firm to develop a concept for an office overhaul, then had carried out the renovation.
In an exclusive interview with New Times last month, Bouie denied that he'd renovated his office or hired a design firm to do so, saying the design firm was hired only to help remodel the lobby at the lottery's Tempe headquarters. He said he'd only had a new desk and some chairs ordered for his office to replace items "from the 1980s."
Actually, records show (see below), Bouie authorized a $4,800 expenditure to hire the Dick & Fritche Design Group of Phoenix to create concepts for the first and second floor of the lottery headquarters, including a complete renovation of Bouie's office, his executive assistant's space, and an executive conference area next to his office that ultimately cost the state about $24,000. An additional $3,800 was spent on rugs for Bouie's office and for the executive area. Ironically, a concept package by he design group suggests that the chairs in Bouie's office would be kept.
Bouie also admitted in the interview last month that he'd taken his kids in a state car, saying he didn't realize he was violating Arizona law by doing so. But he insisted that he only took them to lottery events and that it was "absolutely not true I'm using [the car] for personal use."
The law also prohibits state cars from getting driven to and from home without authorization from the state Department of Administration and from being used for "personal convenience."
On Thursday, New Times revealed how state-vehicle logs appeared to contradict that statement. The newly released lottery surveillance videos provide further evidence of apparent personal use of the taxpayer-funded Chevrolet Impala.
Bouie made a $115,700 annual salary as executive director, which was about $5,000 more than the previous director made under former Governor Jan Brewer.
The undated videos show Bouie and two of his four children arriving or departing from work on various days in the state car.
The video posted in this article shows excerpts from the eight videos provided by the state. In one of the videos, after Bouie loads the kids into the state car, he opens the door of the car parked next to them and appears to rummage inside the vehicle.
The vehicle logs showed that Bouie often left the office well before 5 p.m., along with his kids.
Still to be released is information about the Arizona Lottery's reported purchase of premium seating at sporting events and Bouie's use of these seats.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.