Arizona Department of Public Safety the Latest Victim of Ticket Scandal

Nobody is above the law when it comes to bribery and ticket misuse, especially the law. Just ask the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), Lieutenant Colonel Jack Hagerty and Captian Ken Hunter, who found out the hard way after accepting free tickets from an interesting source: the American Trucking Association (ATA). The ATA’s fleet of trucks frequents the area Hagerty and Hunter are both stationed working in the commercial vehicle enforcement department.

It doesn’t take a judge or investigator to put the pieces together. The Arizona DPS was accepting bribes from a trucking association to keep things running smoothly when they drove through in exchange for some nice seats at an Arizona Diamondbacks game. A few years prior, Hagerty pushed to end random stops of truckers, which in hindsight makes perfect sense. Tickets have long been used as a premier way to bribe and win the favor of political and public officials. It had become a trend in the Arizona DPS as supervisors were often too busy to notice or care.

The scandal led to Hagerty’s premature retirement and an overhaul of the Arizona Department of Public Safety system, putting a premium on transparency and compliance. Like nearly all of the cases similar to Hagerty’s, nothing was done until it was too late. Clearly, there is something wrong with DPS officials sitting in premier seats provided by the ATA. It is a conflict of interest and a criminal violation. But Hagerty and Hunter rouletted the risk game as many other have in the past: play ball until you get caught, and then try to cover it up. Unfortunately, trying to pay for the tickets 6 months after the game (and after the investigation started) is far too late.

At Spotlight, we see cases like this all the time. Tickets, while a phenomenal entertainment asset, seem to go unnoticed and untracked. There are a lot of tickets floating around and most of the people who manage these tickets do it manually. For the employees, these tickets are not top of mind and riddled with fraud.

The majority of ticket administrators use complicated Excel spreadsheets which never pass an audit (though they’ll never admit to that) to keep tabs on their tickets. As Geoffrey Moore famously wrote: “It is never the person using the traditional methods that innovates. It is those feeling the pain and in need of innovation.” Does your staff have the access they need to sports tickets without creating fraudulent risk? It is an easy, and inexpensive, problem to solve.

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