Fired Fiesta Bowl CEO takes new job with charity

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX---  The fired former CEO of the Fiesta Bowl is now working for a Valley charity.

John Junker, the long-time "face" of the Fiesta Bowl is waiting to be sentenced on charges relating to misspent Fiesta Bowl money.  He pleaded guilty earlier this year to making improper campaign contributions using Fiesta Bowl money.

Junker could be sentenced to more than two years in prison come July or simply be given probation.  Either way, he has joined the staff of St. Vincent de Paul.

"John Junker has been volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul  for the last 14 years," the charity's Susan de Queljoe told 3TV in a statement.  

Junker applied for a management position at the charity a few months ago.  He now supervises the kitchens, dining rooms, and thrift stores for St. Vincent de Paul.

"We are fortunate to have someone with his level of business experience join our organization to help [us] and those whom we serve," de Queljoe said.

Arizona's Attorney General's office, which helped investigate Junker and the Fiesta Bowl scandal, said in a statement, "I think that the work Mr. Junker is doing is commendable.  I hope that he finds it rewarding."

An investigation also revealed Junker spent lavishly on himself, legislators, and lobbyists.  Among the findings:

- $1,200 on strippers
- $44,000 on Junker's golf club memberships
- $33,000 for Junker's birthday party at Pebble Beach
- $13,000 for a staffer's wedding and honeymoon

As part of a plea deal, Junker has agreed to pay back $62,500.

His sentencing is set for July 26 in Maricopa County Superior Court.