The PD Mess

It’s always distressing when the County administrators can’t accomplish a simple function. Like hiring staff.  Every time they blow it, they cost you and me money since someone always sues.

I am not familiar with the Public Defender’s office in this County but I worked for years in HR and labor relations for the State and Federal governments. The current controversy re: the newly hired PD is a question:  does he actually qualify for the position?  From what I understand, he has multiple years of qualifying  experience  in other counties but has been out of the field  for the past couple of years. Does the law actually require him to have the qualifying experience immediately before his hire? If so, he would be knocked out of contention because of his recent past working in Florida.  Nine of his subordinates have complained to the BOS and one attorney has filed a suit alleging he does not qualify.  The Times-Standard carried a good summary by Manny Araujo on March 29.

I don’t know if there is case law on this point but in the Federal arena, specs like that are carefully defined. Generally, if you have qualified for a position, that’s it. You don’t have to go back and prove yourself again.  If it were otherwise, employees would be reluctant to change jobs, which is unhealthy in any organization.

However, “in all the circumstances”  including the fact that none of us know what the politics were behind this hire,  and that nine of the deputies have basically cast a “no confidence” vote re: the Supervisors’  selection.  I’m inclined  to think the whole process should be done over.  

What a mess.