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Ex-Fiesta Bowl lobbyist’s office raided

The door to Husk Partners is papered over as investigators from the Arizona Attorney General's Office on Jan. 27 search inside in what Husk's attorney said is part of a search for documents involved in the Fiesta Bowl scandal. (Photo by Josh Coddington/Arizona Capitol Times)

Investigators with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office today raided the office of lobbyist Gary Husk, who has been implicated in the Fiesta Bowl scandal.

Husk’s attorney, Rick Romley, said investigators obtained a search warrant and he believes that it is pertaining to the Fiesta Bowl investigation. Romley said he met with the Attorney General Thursday and emphasized Husk is being cooperative.

“We’ve given them lots of documents,” he said. “We told them that we would fully cooperate in anything that they decided to, and this is part of their investigation.”

The office suite at 1702 E. Highland Ave., was locked and paper shrouded the glass door. An armed female could be seen inside looking over paperwork as a few others also looked at papers.

Husk, who worked as a consultant for the bowl, has not been charged with any crimes, but a 283-page investigative report done by Fiesta Bowl board members and retired Arizona Supreme Court justice alleged that Husk, former bowl CEO John Junker and former COO Natalie Wisneski, solicited campaign contributions from bowl employees and then later reimbursed them. That scheme would run afoul of campaign finance laws.

The report found that employees were illegally reimbursed $46,539 for their contributions dating back to 2000. The probe also found an apparent conspiracy to conceal the reimbursement scheme from the bowl’s board of directors and state officials.

Attorney General Tom Horne is investigating the alleged illegal contributions and a conspiracy to cover them up. Federal investigators are looking into tax violations and have indicted Wisneski on charges of filing false income tax returns for the bowl game.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced in December he wouldn’t prosecute lawmakers who accepted gifts from the Fiesta Bowl without properly disclosing them in their financial records.

Montgomery said he wouldn’t have been able to prove criminal intent and added that Arizona’s financial disclosure laws related to such gifts are vague. He called on the Legislature to toughen them up, add penalties and close loopholes.

Reporter Luige del Puerto contributed to this report

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