County Board Of Supervisors violated the law in searching for a County
Administrator to replace Mike Ortega. What makes this especially
funny is that after violating the law, the Supes suddenly picked
someone who did not go through the process at all. That story
will eventually come to this page, but for now is here, though you may have to look down the page to find it.
Cochise County is violating the law in searching for a new County Administrator
process our Board Of Supervisors is following to choose a new County Administrator is set out in this link, which includes "after balancing the public's interest in
knowing who the candidates are and their qualifications against the
County's legitimate interest in preserving candidates' confidentiality [we resolve that] All ... documents submitted ...
by persons interested in the position ... , all
correspondence or other documents from the County to such persons, and
all critiques and notes evaluating such persons, shall not be open to
public inspection except: when the Board has narrowed the pool of
candidates to a final list, and has scheduled a Board meeting to
discuss candidates with the possibility of making a hiring decision,
then the ... documents submitted by applicants in that final list,
shall be available for public inspection." The resolution says that policy is adopted "In accordance with Arizona Bd. of Regents v.
Phoenix Newspapers". That's false.
And it's not just false, it's the absolute opposite of the truth. You can read the Regents case for yourself here.
The case requires releasing
information about all "candidates" interviewed for an important
position, with "candidates" meaning "prospects who are seriously
considered and who are
interviewed for the
job." For candidates, "The public's legitimate
interest in knowing which candidates are being considered for the job
therefore outweighs the 'countervailing interests of confidentiality,
privacy (and) the best interests of the state....'" The BOS is
violating that rule, while pretending to follow it.
The BOS's violation of law is important. The BOS has now
narrowed the field down to a final five, and we'll be allowed to see
the files only on them. Many other applicants might be excellent,
but the BOS won't
let the people of Cochise County know who or why such people were
rejected. All we'll see is the last act of a show which the BOS
plotted in secret. People have a right to see the
candidates that the Supervisors rejected -- who, for all any member of
the public knows, might be better than any of the finalists, but who
were rejected for reasons the Supervisors aren't saying.
This website blew the whistle on the process weeks ago. On March 13, the Sierra Vista Herald reported in this story that Call said Cochise County's and Tucson's searches "have
basically mirrored each other ...." On March 14, the Herald reprinted here a story from the Tucson Sentinel that blew the whistle on the process. But the
Herald hasn't put its two pieces together into a story that matters to
Cochise County: that Call endorses the illegal process that
Cochise County is using. Is the Herald tossing sour grapes at
Mike Ortega -- or is the Herald trying to protect Pat Call -- or is the
"Herald" simply misnamed, and should it change its name to whatever
they call the guy who comes along and sweeps up after the parade has