New Board of Supervisors delay vote on at-will PCSO employees

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
District_2.jpg

Cheryl Chase

By Chase Kamp

Copper Area News

The new five-member Pinal County Board of Supervisors faced its first controversial piece of business on Jan. 9, a proposal by Sheriff Paul Babeu to move 16 merit employees to at-will status, and voted to hold on a vote until next month.

The proposal would allow the Sheriff to increase his authority over a number of lieutenants and directors from patrol and the jail, who would not be able to appeal any disciplinary actions or firings. These employees would not covered by a written contract or bargaining agreement and the employment could be ended at any time by either the employee or the employer, with or without cause.

PCSO commander Jeffrey Karns retired on Jan. 1 and e-mailed a letter addressed to Babeu to all PCSO staff claiming he would be terminated if Babeu’s proposal was approved.

Karns was set to lose more than $14,000 in salary after the at-will shift, whereas lieutenants in patrol and investigations would get a salary increase out of a jail-improvement fund.

In his email, Karns said the proposal would ruin morale and allow Babeu to appoint political allies.

Babeu told the Board his proposal would improve performance and was within his purview as a department head.

 The Board unanimously voted to table the item until next month. Supervisor Todd House said he received correspondence both for and against the measure and requested more time to review the proposal.

The vote was the first for new District 2 Supervisor Cheryl Chase.

Chase served three terms as a state legislator from 2000 to 2006 for then LD 23, which includes most of the Copper Corridor, and then began work as a Community Relations Administrator for Sheriff Paul Babeu at PCSO. It was a job that took her to every corner of Pinal County working with veterans, women’s organizations and domestic violence advocacy groups.

In the spring of 2012, then-candidate for Sheriff Steve Henry approached Chase about a possible run for Supervisor on the new five-member board.

“I was very happy working in the Sheriff’s Office,” Chase said. “I can say I had a possible future political run in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t a top goal. I am very pleased that the voters believed in me to elect me as their supervisor.”

Chase says she is looking ahead to the myriad of matters that will come before the board in the upcoming months. The challenges, the new supervisor said, will be “interesting and somewhat daunting.”

“There are of course a lot of concerns related to growth and public safety,” the District 2 Supervisor said. “I have no doubt I will be a strong voice for all first responders. I understand the issues they face on a day-to-day basis.”

One of the subjects that is key to her district is the expansion of Hunt Highway.

“I am concerned about that road,” Chase said. “I see it as a major safety issue for everyone in the area. This is a priority for me. It seems that every time we have a significant rain, the road becomes flooded. I would like to address that very soon.”

admin (7655 Posts)


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Sheriff Babeu Works with AZ State Library to Provide Reading Materials to Visually Impaired Inmates

    16 hours ago
    by

    Teaming up with the Arizona Talking Book Library, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu now offers visually impaired inmates the ability […]


    Resolution Copper Mining completes deepest single lift shaft in North America

    November 19th, 2014
    by

    Superior – November 18, 2014 – Today the Resolution Copper Project accomplished a key milestone completing construction of 28 foot […]


    Superior Head Start Happenings

    November 18th, 2014
    by

    Superior – As the holiday season comes upon us, the children of Superior Head Start have been busy in anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday break which draws ever nearer.


    Doug Lewis named Cowboy of the Year

    November 18th, 2014
    by

    Superior Sun On Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, long time Superior cowboy Doug Lewis was named


  • Stories Just For You

    DPS Encourages all Motorists to Drive Courteously This Holiday Season

    December 23rd, 2013
    by

    Arizona – The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), through its Highway Patrol Division, encourages all travelers to drive with […]


    Arvel Bird At the Arboretum New Year’s Day Concert at noon

    December 19th, 2013
    by

    Here’s a resolution you’ll find easy to keep: spend New Year’s Day outdoors at one of Arizona’s most scenic venues, […]


    Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction visited San Carlos Secondary School

    December 2nd, 2013
    by

    John Huppenthal, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction visited San Carlos Secondary School, one of the Cobre Valley Institute of Technology’s […]


    Happy Thanksgiving!

    November 28th, 2013
    by

    Copper Area News would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving! Please remember to drive safely this holiday weekend. For […]


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin