The Association of U S West Retirees



U.K. official won't face police corruption inquiry
By Joyzelle Davis
Rocky Mountain News
Thursday, September 28, 2006

U.K. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who came under fire this summer for his ties to Phil Anschutz, won't face a police corruption investigation into his stay at the Qwest founder's eastern Colorado ranch.  Police looked into whether Prescott might have breached the United Kingdom's 1906 and 1916 Corruption Acts by accepting hospitality from Anschutz, whose Millenium Dome redevelopment project in London is vying for a license to open the U.K.'s only Las Vegas-style casino.

After examining the allegations and consulting with the Crown Prosecution Service, London's Metropolitan Police determined that there "isn't sufficient basis for a criminal investigation," an unnamed spokesman told the BBC.

Prescott has denied any wrongdoing, saying there was no conflict of interest because he isn't involved in decisions about the gambling license.  That didn't stop the notoriously combative British tabloids from having a field day with the story, including Anschutz's gift of a $1,354 cowboy outfit.

This is the second inquiry into Prescott's July 2005 stay at Anschutz's Eagle's Nest Ranch outside of Greeley.  In July, the U.K. Parliament's ethics committee rebuked the deputy Labor party leader for waiting 11 months to declare the stay.

Anschutz Entertainment has an ambitious plan to redevelop the Millenium Dome site, including a 23,000-seat arena slated to open next year.  South African billionaire Sol Kerzner is spearheading plans to build a casino within the dome, but Kerzner is one of several parties vying for a single casino permit that would allow the payout of unlimited prize money.,2777,DRMN_23910_5026431,00.html