Monday, October 17, 2011

Orange County corruption, fully on display

Another County Political Aide Lands New Job Despite Hiring Freeze (Voice of OC)

     Orange County's trash agency continues to solidify its reputation as the recycling bin of county politics with another quiet transfer of a top aide to a supervisor despite a much-heralded "hard" countywide hiring freeze and layoffs.
     Matthew Harper, a top aide to Supervisor Janet Nguyen, was quietly transferred from Nguyen's office this month to OC Waste and Recycling as a public affairs manager. The move raised a few eyebrows in the fifth-floor offices of the County Hall of Administration.
     Harper recently announced he's running for the newly created 72nd State Assembly District touting himself as a fiscal conservative.
     Yet when called to explain why it makes fiscal sense to move him from Supervisor Nguyen's office to the trash agency because he's running for office, Harper asked if he could return the call. He never did, despite repeated attempts late Friday to reach him again for comment.
     County CEO Tom Mauk defended Harper's transfer despite the budget-cutting environment.
. . .
     Harper isn't the first top assistant from a supervisors fifth floor offices to be moved into a lucrative slot at the waste and recycling agency between political gigs.
     Denis Bilodeau, chief of staff to Supervisor Shawn ["Gasbag"] Nelson, was briefly transferred to OC Waste and Recycling after his former boss, Supervisor Chris Norby won a special election to the State Assembly. And Chip Monaco, former chief of staff to County Supervisor Pat Bates also moved from the fifth floor to the trash agency recently despite the hiring freeze….


Faculty Fears in Washington (Inside Higher Ed)

     It just got easier to lay off full-time faculty members in Washington State, thanks to a declaration of financial emergency last month by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. But some faculty leaders say the board’s move is more about a power grab than saving money.
     Either way, faculty members are worried about the possibility of layoffs. And some observers say other cash-strapped states could try similar maneuvers….

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