Fiesta Bowl officials dodging campaign probe

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When word broke in December that the Fiesta Bowl was being investigated for violating state election laws for reimbursing employee contributions to politicians, many thought the lid would be blown on a full-fledged scandal that could endanger the popular bowl’s leadership.

Then the Bowl announced later that month that it was cleared of any wrongdoing, when Fiesta Bowl Chairman Alan Young declared that former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods’ inquiry of the organization found that no employees broke state or federal laws.

Now word comes from the Arizona Republic that apparently Woods’ rubber stamp wasn’t enough to stop the state elections board from actually — uh, you know — investigating.

The Arizona Secretary of State’s office will begin an independent investigation into the bowl games impropriety after repeated requests for information were ignored.

“Normally people are pretty cooperative on getting us information,” Amy Bjelland, part of the Secretary of State’s office said. “They haven’t provided any hard data yet, but we are looking forward to getting something from them. They know who we are talking about.”

The investigation was started in part because Playoff PAC Inc., a political-action committee that’s trying to get a college football playoff, filed a written complaint with the state after reading The Republic‘s initial findings.

The shady business dealings of bowl games has become one of the ugly secrets of college football and The Republic‘s investigation could hopefully help clean up some of the corruption that’s made people so suspicious of the entire system.

And if it helps bring us a college football playoff, keep digging boys…