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5/30/2012 6:00:00 AM
Three Mohave County employees placed on administrative leave
Jerry Sides
Jerry Sides

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - Three employees from the County Public Works Department, including one person running for elected office, have been placed on administrative leave.

Jerry Sides, a candidate for the District 1 Supervisor seat, confirmed Thursday that he was placed on paid administrative leave for at least 10 days. His leave started May 21.

Sides said county officials have not given him the reason why he was placed on administrative leave, but believes someone may have accused him of campaigning while on the job.

He said he recently took a trip on his day off to the Beaver Dam and Littlefield areas in northern Mohave County and met up with two other Public Works employees who had offered to show him around the area during their time off.

The Beaver Dam and Littlefield areas are represented by the District 1 Supervisor's seat.

County Public Information Officer Darryle Purcell said he had no information on the situation, and the county has a policy of not discussing personnel matters with the public.

Arizona Revised Statutes prohibit county employees and elected officials from using county resources to support a political campaign or influence an election.

In November, the Board of Supervisors discussed the idea of changing the county's Merit Rules to prohibit county employees from running for public office while still working for the county. After several members of the public at the meeting expressed outrage over the idea, the Board decided not to take any action and leave the rules the way they are.

According to the merit rules, employees are allowed to "run for or support the candidacy of a person running for a paid or non-paid partisan or non-partisan position, in a manner which does not materially compromise the neutrality, efficiency or integrity of his/her administration or function in the department or create a conflict of interest. If the employee's election activities prevent the employee from performing his/her county duties or adversely affect the employee's performance of his/her county duties or the operation of the employee's department, the employee may be placed on administrative leave without pay status."

The Merit Rules also state that employees cannot participate in political activity while on duty, in uniform or at public expense. The punishment is to be put on unpaid leave for 30 days or dismissal.





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Related Stories:
• Jerry Sides: I'm being punished for campaigning
• Watson steady as candidates face Kingman crowd
• Candidate list growing for district supervisors


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012
Article comment by: Peter Gunn

@ all is now clear

"do you mean you were on the government dole all this time - a government employee with a government check?"

since when is working for a paycheck being "on the dole"?


Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Article comment by: All is Now Clear

Wow. LA comments are very revealing. Linda, when everyone is against you, perhaps it is you. Also, do you mean you were on the government dole all this time - a government employee with a government check?

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: David Parker

I was told when someone is mean to you they are insecure. So I guess when someone is insecure they are mean to you. If your county officals want to shake that image then they should state to the public why these people are being punished. Until then I'll just assume they are insecure. Do you really want insecure people running the organization? . Go Jerry. I would vote for you if I could. And, good luck...

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Contract Manager Chiming In

I have been a construction manager and contract manager for many years and have managed many multi-million dollar projects. I can assure you that no government agency would be stupid enough to work on a project job site after it had been awarded to a contractor. When a contractor is awarded a job, whether it be a highway, a bridge or a building, they are responsible for the entire project from start to finish. Once completed, the contractor provides warranties for their finished work. If a government agency was to step in and construct their own sub-grade (backfill) as aledged, warranties would be voided and ultimate legal action would be likely.

If Mr. Sides is allowed to return to work after his "paid vacation", it would appear that someone made a false allegation that could have an affect on his candidacy. Sounds like "defamation of character". If a co-worker made the false allegation, I am sure they have rules to address that too.


Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: out with them

Yo, TRAINED OBSERVER, you said that you "know some people who know Sides professionally, and from what they say . . . . "

Sounds as if you let others do your observing for you.

I know Mr. Sides personally, and he is A-Okay and will do a great job as a county supervisor.


Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Out with Them

To: TRAINED OBSERVER
So you know someone who knows someone who knows Mr. Sides and they said something negative about him so you will not vote for him?
If all of your judgments are based on hearsay rather than your own knowledge, you are in no position to take a stand of any sort that will have a solid foundation.


Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: gun owner 000

I have to laugh.

County Merit Rules? Come on people, the rules are for people who follow rules, not the County "Good 'ol Boy" system.

They make the rules up as they go, and they don't apply to them.
Anybody who has worked for the County already knows...there should be a disclaimer on the cover of the "Merit Rules" book that says "Rules are subject to change without notice"


Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: mo Illmo

Ok...let's get real. This is not new. We have allowed these people to control our county. "We" have not stopped it. This time, let's put our vote where our outrage is and vote these guys out. If they win AGAIN, we only have ourselves to bame. Mr. Sides may be just the push we need.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: whistle time

1. I know Gary Watson did not ask Walker to initiate an investigation leading to the suspension of 3 long time employees.
1a Walker hates Watson. So he won't do anything that Watson requests.
2. I know that cost over runs happen and 100,000.00 is a drop in the bucket compared to 6million dollars.
3. I know that if the county workers are capable of backfilling then it may be cheaper to use your own staff.
4. Government can only accept the lowest bid. Unless they have legislation that guarantees that they can use local firms over other firms.
5. Tax payers would complain if you take the bid of a higher priced contractor no matter where they are from.


Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Who are the other employees put on Administrative leave? The county is so famous for the administrative leave ploy.

I have wondered for a long time what the County Merit rules say about a supervisor doing her husband's books for a jointly owned business on a county computer. Or harrassing a person at IT to do something that could get him fired.

Just wondering! Also, what are the rules about leaving your job during the day to go jogging/walking around town every day for your own personal health benefits.

Like I said, just asking.




Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Skeletons in the closet!

Is it true that Mr Sides photographed and videotaped county employees performing work on the new public works facility that a contractor was hired to do?

Is it true that this was done to circumvent a contract change order with the board of supervisors?

Is it true that the county employees were told not to discuss this (keep it a secret from the taxpayers)?

Is it true that a certain county supervisor was also photographing this activity (but claims he can't do anything about these things)?

It seems to me that maybe there is only one candidate for District 1 supervisor that is willing to get involved and do anything!



Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

@Mohave County Voter

"one candidate even affixed a magnetic campaign sign to the county car"

If you have proof of this...I believe you should provide it. It hard to believe they would be that dumb.

I wish I was in a different district, as Mr Watson seems to be the only person who at least deserves another chance. Unfortunately he seems to be powerless against the other members.


Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: We Are Not Equal

@ Mohave County Voter

Because some of those county employees are not under the County Merit System. They are usually the same employees who get paid much better and have the better benefits than your ordinary employees who are under the Mierit System. They don't have to work by the same rules.


Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Trained Observer

Actually, I know some people who know Sides professionally. Based on what they have told me, I would not vote for him.

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Mohave County Voter

I don't know about anybody else, but I see elected officials turning up at political events in their county vehicles, sporting county paid cellular devices and gassing up with the county credit card, then moving on down the road out of town to go to another political rally. During the last election period I saw several different incumbents toting campaign materials inside the county vehicle, one candidate even affixed a magnetic campaign sign to the county car when using it for personal business! Why is nothing done about this?

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Out with Them

Good reporting, Suzanne! I support Mister Sides, his candidacy, and the clean sweep he will give us when he is elected.

Bye-bye, Ron Walker and Gary Watson please do not let your shirt tails hit your tails on the way out.


Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Good Ole Mohave County

This is not a matter of waking up, this is about shaking this system to its core! This article is evidence that things ARE changing and as the population of Mohave County and the county seat grows and the level of income and education rebound, these biggotted, bloated systemic leaches WILL BE displaced. Apparently some of the revised election guidelines are being watched by the A.G.'s office due to the incredible abuses that we, as taxpayers, have suffered for so long under the foul administration that runs this ship.
As ballot time draws near, please remember the old adage "United We Stand" because these good ole goobers can't fight all of us.


Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Mohave Valley News Reader

At Trainer Observer : Maybe this is the "might have more to it" question -

Another reason he was put on administrative leave. Sides said, is that he took photos and a video of county employees and equipment working on the new public works building currently under construction in Kingman. Sides said the contractor wanted additional money to backfill the construction site, which the county denied. Instead, the county used public works employees to do the contractor’s work.

Hum? Maybe we don't want the real truth to come out!.



Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Put Ron Walker on Administrative Leave

and then fire Timko and the rest of his minions.

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: gun owner 000

Typical. anybody who doesn't agree with the "Talking Heads" of the County gets "paid administrative leave".

I've seen it done many times, and usually, unless they uncover the body, it's "no harm, no foul" when the leave expires. They just want to get you out of the way, Jerry, you know that.
Tell King Ronnie that you have hired a Lawyer and watch how fast they back-pedal.


Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

Hmmm wonder who initiated the suspension? Sounds like the typical protecting your turf (and I don't mean Supervisor Watson).

Heard this on the radio today after reading it....they referred to him as Jerry Streets...must have been confused with "side streets". They stated he had been a County employee for 26(?) yrs. So he works for that long and possibly gets fired? Sounds like someone is trying to discourage people who may know what's going on from trying to run for office. Hmmm...which Supervisors are running unopposed? I think there is only one...last I checked anyway. See the article referenced after todays story.

I think Mr Sides may have a new supporter.


Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: A L

WHO WERE THE OTHERS PUT ON ADMNISTRATIVE LEAVE?

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: JustAnne Opinion

WHEN will the people of Mohave County wake-up?!

It's appalling how many employees are placed on "administrative leave" through this government agency... an agency YOUR tax dollars fund. Most are PAID leaves, meaning your $$$'s are being used to pay for an employee who is barred from doing their job and basically held hostage in their own home... Doesn't do anyone any good.

It's also getting old that the County sticks to the policy of not discussing personnel issues with the public. It's about d*!m time they did. County residents are the real employers and should be informed as to where the County dollars are being spent/wasted.

Isn't anyone else sick of this???


Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Linda Athens

The Merit Rules here are a joke. Harrassed ten months by a supervisor who was dropped into our office w/no experience concerning what we even did but to save her from a worse fate I am privy too but so far, have kept quiet about, the harrassment started on me her first week.

And a side note. The last thing we needed was another supervisor. We needed field people.

I followed the Merit Rules to a T when her unwarranted harrassment began. . Unfortunately, she and her higher up friends did not.

The Miner did a story on one employee held against her will. I totally believe her.

I was forced to go to BHC to see a psychologist because my superiors decided I was suicidal. I wasn't. In my own car, my own gas - I had to fight to even get gas money back. And I was advised to go, coincidentally, by a woman mentioned in the other Miner story.

The Dr. interviewed me, and puzzled, asked why I was sent. I didn't even know. He said I was fine, someone in my office appeared to be nuts - go on back to work.

I worked in the "old" county years ago where our biggest problem was a land boom and too much work. The county offices I see today are disturbing.

The final straw, one report on me said I was seen (as a passenger in a neighbors vehicle) driving after hours by a building they worked in, intimating I was stalking them.

For once they told the truth. Left out was the fact I lived a block away - we all took that street up to the gas station. And we were headed for a fill up.


Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Article comment by: Anne Noid

To "Trained Observer" , you are right-on in your comments.
Will the county "Big Wigs" make a clean breast on this? Very doubtful.
The citizens of Mohave County deserve better. The policy, as stated above, is extremely subjective, and given our present County Manager and his minions---God help us all.



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