In what appears to be another ominous kink in a once sunny career, lawyer/lobbyist Gary Husk was charged with eight felonies Thursday. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced the unsealing of an indictment of Gary Husk and his company Husk Partners, Inc. for Conspiracy to Make Prohibited Political Contributions and seven counts of Prohibited Contributions — making illicit contributions in the name of another person. The 9-page indictment can be read here.
Once the contributions were made, the employees were reimbursed by Husk Partners, Inc. or Gary Husk directly, often coding the reimbursements under the firm’s account as an “office expense.” Contributions made by Husk Partners Inc. employees included several state and local campaigns. There is no indication any of the campaigns that received donations were aware of the improprieties.
This latest legal entanglement is in addition to previous accusations of Husk instigating the same type of unlawful scheme on behalf of the Fiesta Bowl, his then-client. Employees of the bowl were repaid for making campaign contributions to local, state and federal candidates. That investigation is ongoing.
This 2011 Above the Law article by Natasha Lydon fills in the gaps of the Fiesta Bowl investigation and its connection to the seemingly omnipresent Grant Woods, a long time McCain ally and his former Chief of Staff. Lydon wrote the Fiesta Bowl commissioned an initial investigation in early 2009 after rumors of campaign contribution improprieties first surfaced. This investigation was conducted by Grant Woods, a former Arizona Attorney General, who offered the Fiesta Bowl the oral conclusion that he had found “no credible evidence” of wrongdoing.
As it turns out, Grant Woods was recommended for the job by Gary Husk, then an attorney on the Fiesta Bowl payroll. It was alleged that Husk pre-interviewed Fiesta Bowl employees about reimbursements for campaign contributions and only allowed those who said there were no reimbursements to be formally interviewed by Woods. It was further alleged that the initial investigators altered and manipulated evidence before turning it over to the state for use in the official investigation. Woods was paid $55,000 for his investigative services. He gave $20,000 of this his friend Husk. Whether the attorneys will be subject to sanctions for improper fee splitting and other misconduct remains to be seen, Lydon wrote at the time
In March 2011, Seeing Red AZ wrote AZ’s Fiesta Bowl scandal: Grant Woods merits his own “woody award,“ which plumps out the background even more.