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GOP Candidate for Arizona Governor has Family Ties to Organized Crime

Alex Constantine - October 26, 2014

Doug Ducey, the Republican candidate for governor of Arizona in November’s election, hails from a family that for two generations was involved in organized crime in Toledo, Ohio, according to a report by The Center for Investigative Reporting and Phoenix New Times. The politician’s relatives ran after-hours gambling clubs and participated in bookmaking, numbers running, loan sharking and other lucrative and illegal activities in the northwest Ohio city from the 1930s through the 1980s, according to documents and interviews.

Ducey, 50, is the wealthy former CEO of the Cold Stone Creamery ice cream chain. He was elected Arizona state treasurer in 2010 and won the GOP gubernatorial primary in August. In the governor’s race, he faces Democrat Fred DuVal, former chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents, which governs the state’s public universities.

Ducey grew up in Toledo, then moved to Arizona in 1982 for college, according to a campaign biography.

He sometimes has cited his Toledo boyhood on the campaign trail, saying, “I think I’m very much a product of the Midwest and Midwestern values.”

Ducey’s place in a family that was tied to organized crime in Toledo has never been publicized, and CIR and New Times discovered no evidence that he profited from or engaged in criminal activity. Ducey's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Ducey’s great uncle Tony Paul Scott was a “one of Toledo’s most legendary racketeers” and one of the “elders of the loosely knit Toledo crime family,” as the Toledo Blade reported after his death in 1993.

For decades, he participated in illegal gambling and loan sharking; was involved in assaults and bootlegging; and was a suspect in an unsolved killing, public records show.

Ducey’s grandfather Bill Scott, who was the brother of Tony Paul Scott, was a longtime Toledo bookmaker, according to the CIR/New Times report. Both Ducey’s grandfather and grandmother were convicted of federal gambling charges in 1974, according to press reports, but the convictions were overturned on appeal.

Ducey’s uncle Billy Scott, who was the son of Bill Scott, was a high-profile sports bookmaker in Toledo in the 1970s and 1980s, records show. He was convicted of federal racketeering and extortion charges, imprisoned and became a federal witness.

The politician’s uncle later fled to Antigua, where he made millions running an illegal online gambling service, court records show. Long a federal fugitive, he returned to the U.S. in 2012 and pleaded guilty to international money laundering.

From the CIR/New Times story:

“Familiar with the Scott family's criminal influence in Toledo, (retired police officer Eugene) Fodor … explained that Ducey's grandfather William Scott was ‘like a capo, in the New York verbiage of an organized crime gang.’

“… Several Toledo Blade news clippings from the 1960s and 1970s name William Scott (Ducey's grandfather); his wife, Madeline Sr. (Ducey's grandmother); and their son Billy (Ducey's uncle), as partners in what could be considered the family business.”

The CIR/New Times story portrays Toledo as an open gambling town for much of the 20th century. The rise of Nevada casinos and federal crackdowns in the 1970s and 1980s finally ended the gambling era.