Friday, July 27, 2007

Top AZ officials to fight appointment of former county attorney Romley to Veterans post

This was just posted on Mary Jo Pitzl's blog, the AZ Republic's lead reporter for the state legislature. Looks like former liberal anti-2nd amendment "Republican" Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley (who has been criticized even more lately for his liberal ties, which include working for liberal Democrat AG Terry Goddard and endorsing Democrats like Chris Cummisky for Secretary of State over Jan Brewer) is not going to have a smooth sailing into the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sonoran Alliance has something up about it as well.

Ripping Romley

Many members of Arizona's congressional delegation think former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley would make a fine secretary of Veterans Affairs. But not current county attorney Andy Thomas, nor Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Thomas called the Insider voicemail box this week to explain why he feels it's important to speak out about why Romley should NOT take over the post that Jim Nicholson gave up when he resigned last week.

Thomas cited many shortcomings in what he saw as Romley's qualifications, ranging frm his lavish spending on an annual report in his last year as county attorney to the lack of voicemail in the office during Romley's 16-year reign to the fact that "he has been both publicly and privately critical of me."

Asked what that had to do with overseeing the Veterans Affairs Department, Thomas noted the agency's well-publicized travails.

"I think the next person to take that position should have a strong and unblemished track record of management and treatment of subordinates," he said. To that point, Thomas noted a retaliation claim filed against Romley that was paid by the county, even as a related harrassment complaint filed against his deputy (Barnett Lotstein, whom Thomas kept on) was dismissed.

Romley, a Vietnam vet, was recommended for Nicholson's old post by U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl and Rep. Harry Mitchell, although there is no word on whether he is a candidate for the federal post.

If that happens, look for more criticism coming from county headquarters

"Arpaio may be ready to testify in Washington," Thomas said. "I don't think I'm ready to go that far."

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