From blocking a hearing in the Arizona House of Representatives, to withholding public documents, Governor Doug Ducey’s administration aggressively maneuvers to prevent information about the Department of Economic Security from making its way into the public view as their attempts to avoid taking responsibility and their mistakes are becoming clear. At the same time, others are working successfully to get the truth out – one way or another.
Arizonans first learned of the hardball tactics employed by Ducey and his team when they went after Treasurer Jeff DeWit. DeWit, who was candid with residents about the governor’s school funding scheme, Proposition 123. While that scheme turned out to be mostly as bad as DeWit predicted, the abuse the Treasurer endured served as a warning to anyone who might take a position in opposition to the governor.
Later, the governor’s team took intimidation to a whole new level when they sent Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers and a SWAT team to the Department of Economic Security (DES), to escort former DES director Tim Jeffries, and his leadership team out of DES headquarters the day before Thanksgiving based on rumors that they were “stashing weapons and ammo.”
Ducey’s team pushed the rumors and he ordered DPS to investigate the matter and prepare a report.
Moles, moles everywhere
As a result of the well-documented well-orchestrated no-holds-barred attacks by the governor’s team, it is understandable that employees within the administration have taken great care to get information out to the public without making themselves a target.
When Jeffries took over DES at the request of Ducey, he brought in professionals from other government agencies and the private sector. In no time at all, each of them discovered waste, fraud and abuse of public funds on every level and in every way imaginable.
Each one of them made a commitment to reform the agency and they were given the freedom to do what had to be done to restore the public’s trust in the Department. Jeffries’ team identified everything from a dysfunctional software system to an evidence room with no controls.
Being the savvy people that they were, the newcomers learned over time that they should be leery of those people who had broken the very trust they were trying to repair. Others had already learned that lesson.
Under those circumstances, only the arrogant and foolhardy would believe that their machinations were not being memorialized in some form or fashion. But too often bureaucrats – especially dishonest ones – are arrogant and foolhardy. Other bureaucrats see themselves as public servants and don’t hesitate to tell the truth when pushed. They have no idea that someday their words will come back to bite their dishonest colleagues on the ass.
Such was the case last week, when the Arizona Daily Independent reported that newly appointed DES Inspector General, Dennis Young, advised colleagues that the report Ducey demanded was completed in the early part of 2017.
In recorded conversations, Young went so far as to say that the newspaper reports were blown out of proportion. Young stated that investigators found that DES officials namely, Mr. Charles Loftus, had not accumulated as much ammunition as he could have to ensure the proper training of DES employees.
Young, who had been a DPS employee before being placed in the DES IG position, told colleagues, “I mean, it’s the purchase of the ammo, umm, based on what the plan was – of hiring security people and the training and all that; that amount of ammo was appropriate.”
In other words, there was no stash of ammo or cache of weapons by any reasonable measure. In numerous conversations, Young had only praise for Loftus and had been critical only of the former DES employees, whose mess Loftus had to clean up. In numerous conversations, Young and others stated that the report was completed as early as February.
A day after the ADI reported on Young’s comments, an Arizona Capitol Times article claimed once again that the DPS report on its “investigation into the weapons stash” was not complete.
Saying one thing to colleagues and reporting another to the public, who knows who, and what, is to be believed. Either way, there are enough concrete reasons to question the duration of the DPS investigation and the apparent need for revisions of the report.
- DPS Changing Stories On DES Report Defy Logic And Interim Inspector General’s Claims
- Ducey Shuts Down Testimony By Jeffries, Loftus On DES Debacle
- Ducey Admin Delays Delivery Of DPS DES Report
- Failures Of AZDES System HEA Plus Leads To $142 Million Wasted Taxpayer Funds
- The Destruction Of DES And Good Men
- Few DES Employees Fired Under Jeffries To Be Offered Jobs Back