The Cochise 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

The 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 passed?