The Fiesta Bowl has been under fire for a while now thanks to its alleged ties to lobbyists -- which its since severed -- and political contributions that were made under CEO John Junker. Of course, that hasn't stopped the game from proceeding down its usual path, and raking in millions of dollars ever year.
It seems change is in the air, however, as it was announced on Monday that Junker has been placed on leave while a current investigation of the game's spending habits under him continues.
The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl board on Monday placed longtime Chief Executive John Junker on paid administrative leave while an independent investigation examines allegations he was involved in improper political campaign contributions and questionable expense reimbursements.
Monday's announcement is the first time that Junker, who makes nearly $600,000 a year, has been accused by the bowl of financial irregularities. The bowl gave no details regarding the accusations, and a spokesman said the bowl would have no further comment.
Junker could not be reached immediately for a response. It was unclear whether he would be asked to permanently resign or could be reinstated in full in the future.Essentially, what Junker is accused of doing was having employees do is make political contributions to certain candidates, and then reimbursing them for the donations. In his place will be the bowl's former chairman, Alan Young. The investigation is being led by a special committee of the game's Board of Directors. Bowl officials, including Young, had been standing behind Junker as this investigation developed over the last few months, and today's news is the first indication that a change may be coming to the way the Fiesta Bowl does its business.