I sat on this story until after the election, alluding to it in my post on November 3rd. The election process wouldn’t have been well served had this news been made before the election. But, it’s time to stop making excuses for people serving the public trust- and it’s time to bring accountability to our county.
While one reader chastised me as a Democratic Precinct Captain as endorsing Republicans for County Office and State Rep- it’s because the current rulers of the Monarchy of Montgomery County aren’t fit for office. How can we have a constant stream of “woops” without a single firing up until now- and the only person fired was an easy target who should never have been hired in the first place?
Read the story from the DDN- which left out the part about Ms. King also securing a patronage job for her brother:
A temporary worker who has a 2008 felony conviction for rape was fired Oct. 28 by Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Steve Harsman, who acknowledged he hired the relative of one of his supervisors without requiring an application from the man.
Jimmy Fitzgerald Anderson, 45, began work as part of the voter registration crew on Sept. 27.
He was recommended for the job by his sister, Beverly King, supervisor of registration. Harsman said King knew of Anderson’s felony conviction in California but did not mention it to Harsman…
Temporary workers are not subject to background checks, but if Anderson had filled out a job application he would have been required to say if he had a felony conviction.
Had Harsman known of the conviction, he said he would not have hired Anderson…
Anderson is registered with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office as a Tier III sex offender, having been convicted of rape by force or fear in San Diego County…
Harsman and King are registered Democrats.
Anderson, who registered on Sept. 26 to vote in Montgomery County did not name a party…
The board of elections hires equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans.
Jobs are not posted. Typically, they are filled through recommendations from employees, county party members and from the pool of previous temporary workers, Harsman said.
He said people typically are required to fill out job applications for regular and temporary jobs. The county’s 1,500 poll workers — who also must be hired in equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans — do not fill out applications or go through background checks. The law prohibits felons from being pollworkers and Harsman said he construes that to also mean that board employees also cannot have felony convictions.
He said the situation with Anderson will result in the board looking at its hiring policies and possibly consider expanding background checks.
Harsman said Deputy Director Betty Smith, a Republican, had all 12 of her temporary hires fill out applications.
But through an oversight, Harsman said the 12 Democrats he hired were not asked for applications this time. Harsman said in the rush to prepare for the election he did not realize the new hires had not filled out the proper paperwork.
“I take full responsibility,” Harsman said.
Harsman is saying he takes “full responsibility”- yet, this is really just another black mark on our Democratic Party “leadership” which thinks it’s perfectly OK to hire friends and family for every position available.
It’s time to set up an independent panel to evaluate every hire of a relative or friend of the political class in the county. No more hiring of the deputy sheriff’s sister as an appraiser, the husband of a city commissioner as a glorified clerk, the son of the head of public works as a gopher, the brother of….
Proof must be shown that every one of these positions was fairly posted and competed for. Anyone who has hired friends and family without posting a job competitively should be fired and fined.
Government jobs, funded with our tax dollars require a higher level of trust and responsibility than a private sector job- yet this has proven, time and time again, not to be the case.
Harsman and King should both be fired immediately. The Democratic representatives to the Board of Elections, former party chair and former vice chairmen, Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie, should both resign for supporting an obviously incompetent director. County Administrator Deb Feldman has once again shown that anything goes in her administration- and that the County Building is run more like a frat house than a public office.
If we hope to see any change in how things get done in the region, we at least need to follow the basic rules of hiring and accountability.
If the locals can’t take care of this- maybe it’s time for the Feds to investigate, like they did in Cuyahoga County, where the whole system of government was restructured due to the same kind of malarkey.