Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and his staff nearly caused an international incident this weekend when one of Ducey’s crew skipped out on a hotel tab while in Mexico for the swearing in of the newly elected Governor of the State of Sonora. Fortunately for Ducey, an Arizona businessman intervened and picked up the 230 peso tab, sparing both the poor waiter, and the State of Arizona.
While 230 pesos comes to a mere $17, the poor Mexican waiter would have lost his job if the bill had remained unpaid.
While the theft of services was reported to Mexican authorities, hotel staff hoping to avoid an international incident, went hunting for the governor’s man before the federales arrived at the hotel. According to witnesses, during that search, staff asked a wealthy Arizona businessman if he might know where the dine-and-dasher had gone to. Recognizing that the situation would be damaging to his home state and devastating to the hard-strapped waiter, the businessman paid the bill. The federales were called off.
An investigation by the ADI revealed that Ducey had planned to ignore the historic swearing in of the first female governor of the Mexican state that shares a border with Arizona, but shoved aside Secretary of State Michelle Reagan at the last minute in order to grab a quick photo-op with governor Claudia Pavlovich.
Reagan had purchased a gift for Pavlovich, arranged meetings with her counterpart and other business and government officials, and reserved the governor’s plane for the inaugural activities. Forcing Reagan off the governor’s plane, Ducey flew in and flew out of Mexico just long enough for staff to run up a tab and take a few snap shots on iphones.
As Treasurer, Ducey enjoyed a reputation for his commitment to fiscal responsibility, however, the pressures of his new office have him changing course. His recent decision to raid the State Land Trust fund has pleased some in the chambers of commerce and displeased more conservative deep pockets. Many say the failure of his staff to pay their bill in Mexico is in keeping with the governor’s new attitude toward spending and debt.
Still other say that because the small statured governor and his team is more focused on either feuding with or undercutting his fellow Republican state officials, they continue to make sloppy mistakes.