Ten weeks ago Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker was placed on paid administrative leave has now been fired after the Fiesta Bowl concluded their internal investigation. Junker was fired for many reasons that included spending lavish spending on iPads that employees could keep after they left their job, visits to strip clubs, political contributions that were then given back to the employees as bonus checks.
The Fiesta Bowl has fired CEO John Junker after a report by the Bowl's oversight committee found evidence of lavish spending, political dealings well beyond the scope of a non-profit organization, and political donations made by employees of the Fiesta Bowl which were then reimbursed and labeled as a bonus.
The three main points into why Junker was let go come from the very condensed report that was published on the Fiesta Bowl website:
• An apparent scheme to reimburse at least $46,539 in improper campaign contributions.
• A flawed initial investigation and an apparent conspiracy to conceal the reimbursement scheme
from the Board of Directors and state officials.
• Unauthorized and excessive compensation, non-business and inappropriate expenditures and
That is just the tip of the iceberg.
The full report is 276 pages and from glancing over it, there is some juicy stuff within. There is a section actually labeled strip club, and here is what was within the report about strip club visits (bolding was done by me):
a. Strip club visits
On September 12, 2008, Junker, Aaron Brown, and Shawn Schoeffler spent the evening at Phoenix's Bourbon Street,1304 which claims to be a "World Famous Strip Club."1305 Aaron Brown is a Maricopa County Sheriff's lieutenant who owns Blue Steel Consulting, Inc., a company that provides security services to the Fiesta Bowl.
Junker's American Express statement includes five separate charges from Bourbon Street for the evening, totaling $1,241.75. (The men also spent $46 at Z Tejas, a restaurant, and $48.47 at Tilted Kilt, a bar, that evening, all paid for by the Fiesta Bowl.)
Junker acknowledged that the more than $1,200 spent at Bourbon Street that evening was not all spent for food and drink but "in all likelihood" included the payment for women to dance for them.1309 One of the investigators retained by counsel to the Special Committee conducted an investigation that concluded that the individual amounts that totaled up to the night's charges equated with the charges for private dances. The Fiesta Bowl paid for the drinks and all the strip club charges. The handwritten description on Junker's American Express statement for the strip club visit said "Junker, A. Brown-security site planning." Junker stated that they did discuss business during the evening and that there was a business purpose to the Bourbon Street visit:
"We are in the business where big strong athletes are known to attend these types of establishments. It was important for us to visit and we certainly conducted business."
Brown stated that it was his fault that they went to Bourbon Street and that he had pushed Junker to go. Brown said they had "normal business discussions" while at Bourbon Street. Our review of other executives' American Express statements found several other apparent visits to Bourbon Street. Schoeffler's American Express statements, for example, show that Schoeffler was reimbursed by the Fiesta Bowl for six other visits to Bourbon Street, although his charges per visit (ranging from $45.75 to $145.50) were significantly lower than the September 12, 2008 visit noted above.
Likewise, Fields' American Express statements show two charges to Bourbon Street, one on September 2, 2009, for $400, and another on September 3, 2009, for $According to the 2007 Fiesta Bowl employee manual,
reimbursement for strip club expenses is not permitted: "[T]he Company will not reimburse expenses incurred in ladies or gentlemen's clubs, gambling establishments or any similar type of establishment."Earlier and later versions of the manual contain the same language.
The Fiesta Bowl will still keep their status as a BCS Bowl through the rest of their contract, but their non-profit status is in serious jeopardy,