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News 4 Tucson Investigators: Former House Speaker cleared - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

News 4 Tucson Investigators: Former House Speaker cleared

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Tucson - "There was nothing I went to that was for the campaign itself."

That's what former Arizona House Speaker David Gowan told the News 4 Tucson Investigators last year when we asked whether he used a state vehicle during his ill-fated campaign for Congress.  Arizona law prohibits state resources to influence an election.  Now, Attorney General Mark Brnovich has concluded his investigation and declined to press charges against Gowan. 

The Republican A.G. said while Gowan's travel raised ethical questions and that he used a state vehicle for what appear to be personal reasons, there's no proof Gowan had criminal intent.

Before the investigation started, Gowan reimbursed the state more than $12,000.  He said billing the state for travel and personal expenses, was a "clerical mistake" by his office.  Soon after Gowan announced his candidacy for Congress, the Sierra Vista Republican tweeted photos while traveling the state. From Flagstaff on Oct. 8, 2016:  "...listening to voters about my vision to make D.C. accountable." During a Flagstaff radio interview, also on Oct. 8, Gowan made this comment: "What do we need in Washington, D.C.?  $19-trillion in the hole. We need somebody who's capable of bringing those ideas and fighting for those issues down there."

We approached Gowan at a campaign event in Oro Valley last  year and asked him: "What about that October 8th radio interview in Flagstaff, where you did talk about going to Washington, D.C. with a state vehicle taking you to that interview?" He said, "Right, so the point here is you're not going to separate the speaker from the candidate. And they asked me that question. What am I going to do, decline? 

There is a new policy in the state house in which members must personally sign their expense reports instead of signing them electronically. Gowan's assistant apparently attached his electronic signature to his reports, which Gowan had said he was unaware of. Gowan dropped out of the 2016 congressional race, but has filed paperwork to run for the state senate.

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