- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Two former executives with the Arizona lottery sued a former director who resigned amid allegations that he used a state vehicle for personal business in violation of state rules.

The two women claim that Tony Bouie fired them so he could hire “friends and cronies” who were male and unqualified for the positions. The lawsuit says the firings amounted to sexual discrimination that violated the constitutional rights of the women.

Plaintiff Jessica Reimann also claims she was fired in violation of her free speech rights because she reported that Bouie took free items from the Arizona Coyotes in violation of state policies and law.

The lawsuit filed in federal court last week by Reimann and Karen Bach seeks unspecified general and punitive damages and legal fees.

Bouie has denied doing anything wrong. He told the Arizona Republic on Wednesday that he looks forward to responding to “these false allegations.”

The Associated Press could not locate a current phone listing for Bouie and no attorney is listed in the court filings.

The lawsuit names Bouie alone and notes that at all times he not only acted as an individual but “under the color of state law and state authority.”

Bouie resigned in January after the Phoenix New Times reported questions about the state car and remodeling of lottery offices. Gov. Doug Ducey’s spokesman said then that Bouie and the administration agreed the issues had become a distraction and his resignation was in the best interests of the state.

The Arizona attorney general’s criminal division launched an investigation after Bouie resigned. Spokeswoman Mia Garcia said Wednesday the probe was closed last month because of “a lack of clear intent or evidence” that supported charges.

Ducey announced Bouie’s appointment in January 2015. At the time, the governor said Bouie had successfully overseen corporations and brought a strong history of leadership to the public sector.

Bouie previously was chief operating officer for Parkinson Wellness Recovery. He also worked as a director of a consumer services company and as a strategic consultant.

He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1995 to 1999. Before his NFL career, he played for the University of Arizona.

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