Hank Stephenson at the Arizona Capitol Times
has another blockbuster exposé on House Speaker David Gowan: The Sierra Vista Republican had to refund more than $12,000 in bogus expenses that he billed the state. Stephenson's report:
Arizona House Speaker David Gowan last month repaid the state more than $12,000 for mileage reimbursements he claimed for trips that he took in state vehicles and for days he claimed to work but did not.
Gowan repaid the travel reimbursement money after the Arizona Capitol Times published a Jan. 8 article detailing the increase of state fleet vehicle use by top Republican lawmakers and their staff. The speaker declined to comment on the issue.
House Republican caucus spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said after the Capitol Times published its investigation into Gowan and other lawmakers’ use of state fleet vehicles, the speaker instructed House staff to comb through his personal mileage reimbursement claims and cross reference those records with his fleet vehicle use to look for any travel reimbursements.
Read the whole thing here.
The report comes on the heels of Stephenson's earlier report that Gowan was cruising around Congressional District 1 in a state-issued car
at the same time he's running in the district in a crowded six-way primary. Coincidentally enough, he decided to pay back his ill-gotten gains just days after Stephenson's report was published.
Gowan has built his reputation on the notion that he's a small-government conservative who made the "tough choices" to cut K-12 spending and university support, as well as slash programs that provide kids with health insurance, prevent child abuse and help low-income Arizonans afford food. But he'll now be known as a grifter who helped himself to as much government largesse as he could. He's taken George Washington Plunkitt's dictum to heart: "I seen my opportunities and I took ’em."