Board probes claim hiring was political

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

The state Personnel Board is launching an investigation into a complaint that five state employees were hired as a result of political reward or nepotism, granting them merit or "protected" job status.

Mark Sipek, general counsel for the board, said the probe is a preliminary investigation, focusing on employees hired at the Tourism Development Cabinet.

The board's action stems from a complaint filed by Donald C. Hagy, a legal secretary at the cabinet, who claims certain Tourism employees were given jobs because of their connections to Secretary Ann Latta or prominent Democrats. Hagy also made claims of discrimination on the part of the cabinet.

"I'm telling you right now this is the most corrupt system and the most corrupt administration I've seen," said Hagy. "And I've been here 30 years."

A Tourism official, speaking on behalf of Latta, on Friday gave a statement regarding the investigation.

"The cabinet looks forward to refuting these allegations and providing evidence that the proper procedures were followed in appointing these five employees," said Department of Parks spokesman Jim Carroll.

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