April 27 - May 3, 1995

Patronage Poop

Pima County Supervisor Mikey Boyd discussed the topic of political patronage with KVOA-TV, Channel 4's Sandy Rathbun in January, 1993. Following excerpts from that interview, Mikey is questioned by Bill Hanson, an attorney for Pima County employees Mikey and his fellow GOP supervisors fired for reasons having to do with--you guessed it--political patronage.

RATHBUN: Let's talk about political patronage, because you guys have been accused of that.

BOYD: I think every administration is accused of it. But I think if you compare the acquaintances or--the acquaintances or whatever--who find their way into county government versus past administrations and just some of the blatant, bold hiring terms for political favors, I think you'll see that ours will be tiny by comparison. And I think you're always going to have a little bit of that because it's hard to--there is a fine line--let's take someone like Kate O'Reilley.

RATHBUN: Kate O'Reilley, Ed Moore's aide and new department head.

BOYD: Right. Kate O'Reilley is well known in the human service area in Pima County as someone who is fairly experienced, fairly knowledgeable in these areas, and has dealt with dozens of different human service agencies. And that's the department she will oversee. And I think that anyone who doubts Kate O'Reilley's expertise in this area is wrong.

RATHBUN: One of your political contributors, the new main county lobbyist...

Now for Hanson's questions:

Q: Stop. Did you hear yourself on that tape there state generally a comparison between acquaintances that ended up employees of the county as a result of this administration comparing that to "blatant and bold hirings done for political favorites"?

BOYD: That's correct.

Q: When you made the statement there, "blatant and bold hirings done for political favorites," you were referring to past activities within Pima County?

BOYD: No, I was not.

Q: Wasn't your intention to be specifically referring to any people that had been hired by former boards and their administrations within Pima County?

BOYD: No, I was not.

Q: So, did you misspeak in that quotation?

BOYD: No, I was--in fact, I think at that time, I was thinking about some other states like Illinois that used to just come in and just have blanket dismissals.

Q: You indicated that there was a fine line between political patronage and hiring legitimately qualified people to fill positions, correct?

BOYD: That's correct.

Q: To the extent that an appointment is to a high-level office or department directorship within government, wouldn't public scrutiny of those types of appointments more or less prevent there being any question raised and not going over the line?

BOYD: I don't understand the question.

Q: Well, for instance, with Kate O'Reilley on the tape, you said that there were people who were criticizing her, but you thought she was well qualified for the job. If that decision to appoint her to a super department director job had been done in an open public meeting, chances are there would be less criticism of that appointment, correct?

BOYD: I don't know that to be true or not true.

Q: If the board policy requiring open, competitive competition for unclassified positions had been followed, you would have been less subject to criticism about your appointments, would you not?

BOYD: I don't know that to be the case either.

Q: Well, tell me what your opinion is on that.

BOYD: My opinion is it could, it might, and it might not.

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April 27 - May 3, 1995

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