Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Deputy Director Administrator of Elections Turns Up Lots of Questions

Brian's Blog contacted Knox County Human Resources about the recently created position of Deputy Director Administrator of Elections.

Here are the facts as we discovered today.

1.) The job was as Req. #704 and was posted for five days. It was posted July 14 - July 20, 2009 at 4:30 p.m. Because it was posted for only five days. It was not posted on the Knox County web page and was NOT advertised in the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

2.) Because it was not posted for longer than five days, the applicant pool was not screened by Knox County Human Resources. In layman's terms all resumes were simply turned over to Greg Mackay.

3.) Only four individuals applied. They are listed in alphabetical order by last name with a brief description of the material they supplied.

Frank Brewer, submitted an application for employment. Brewer holds a BS in Education from University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a MS in Science. Brewer listed three work references. Brewer is currently an Assistant Director for an agency and has held former positions of General Manager and Supervisor with two previous employers.

Arby Dickert, submitted a cover letter, application for employment and a detailed resume. Dickert listed a BS in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University, three work references. Dickert has worked for at least three computer information technology firms and one financial investment company.

Scott Frith, a realtor listed on his application for employment his mother Diane Frith as his only work reference and supervisor. He listed that he was a graduate of Halls High School and the University of Tennessee. He simply listed a Bachelor of Arts. Editorial Note: It is nice to have the recommendation of your mommy.

John W. Hall, submitted an application of employment and a resume. Hall possesses a Bachelors degree from University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Hall submitted three work references which including Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale. Hall has worked as a campaign intern with Harold Ford, Jr for U.S. Senate campaign. Hall has also been employed with a local law firm. Hall list his current employment as Assistant to Administrator of Elections with the Knox County Election Commission. In checking with the Knox County Human Resources office, they have Hall listed as a part-time election worker.

4.) Election Commission Chairman Chris Haegerty in a brief interview today said that he was unaware of this position and/or hiring until it was announced that Frith was working at the Election Commission. Election Commissioner Robert Bowman also in a brief interview was also unaware of the position prior to the hiring. Bowman said "the statute gives the Administrator broad discretion, I didn't vote for the Administrator. But, unfortunately we are stuck with it." Efforts to reach Election Commissioners Paul Crilly, Cassandra Stuart and Cameron Brooks were unsuccessful prior to our deadline.

5.) We obtained from the Knox County Human Resources Department a list of all current employees of the Election Commission with each employees hire date and their current salary.

Election Commission Chairman Chris Heagerty - 4/19/2003 - $5,000.00

Election Commission Secretary Robert Bowman - 4/6/2009 - $3,900.00

Election Commissioner Paul Crilly - 4/16/2001 - $3,900.00

Election Commissioner Cassandra Stuart - 8/5/2004 - $3,900.00

Election Commissioner Cameron Brooks - 1/13/2009 - $3,900.00

Administrator of Elections Greg Mackay - 11/1/1989 - $110,647.71 Mackay's hire date in our opinion is the date he was hired as an Election Commissioner not as Administrator. Simply because he has not held the position of Administrator since 1989. He has previously held the position of Election Commissioner.

Chief Deputy Administrator - 1/28/1986 - $59,871.44

Deputy Director Administrator of Elections Scott Frith - 7/22/2009 - $83,711.13

Administrative Assistant - 3/9/1988 - $32,071.46

Deputy Clerk - 7/27/1989 - $31,048.34

Deputy Clerk - 9/9/1996 - $33,499.53

Deputy Clerk - 7/17/2008 - $24,511.85

Computer Technician - 7/21/2003 - $38,969.82

Office Administrator - 4/9/2001 - $36,720.01

Technician Part-Time - 9/1/1978 - $20,854.32

Technician Part-Time - 5/3/1988 - $20,031.10

Temporary/PT Employee Part-Time - 10/16/1994 - $11,416.86

As you can see from the hire dates, there are many employees with many years of election experience. One employee has 31 years. One employee has 23 years. Two employees have 21 years. Two employees have 20 years. One employee has 15 years. One employee has 13 years. One employee has 8 years. One employee has 6 years. One employee has 1 year and Scott Frith who possesses NO election experience was hired on 7-22-2009.

It is our desire that the other local media journalists will continue to look into this issue. This is what we found in our effort as part time citizen journalist with a skeleton crew. In our opinion it is clear that rules were stretched on this hiring and with this new day in Knox County where everything is to operate in an open and transparent process it is clear this one did not.

We will continue to educate you on the shenanigans of the Knox County Administrator of Elections.

The picture below is of Deputy Director Administrator of Elections Scott Frith.


Anonymous said...

How do you like Tim Burchett now? How about Greg Mackay?

We got screwed by Mackay and Burchett.

Never forget.

Anonymous said...

Did the other people fall flat on their faces in the interviews? I don't see how one seriously looks at that list and thinks Frith has the experience for the job. That seems more like a position that should have been filled by promoting from within so the person knows the daily mechanics of the job.

How do you "direct" an organization you know nothing about? This is simply Mackay trying to avoid a job loss in 2 years. An expensive insurance plan, if I do say so myself!

It was rigged and we all know it, MacKay.

Anonymous said...

I found out about the position by visiting Karns library. I happened to look on the bulletin board in the entranceway and there were a list of job notices. This one caught my eye. Because I am looking for a position, I figured that I would apply. The requirements did not seem to be difficult.

Needless to say, I heard nothing about the position until I saw it was in the newspaper. There were no e-mails, phone calls or interviews.

Was I surprised? Not really.

Arby Dickert

Anonymous said...

There should be an investigation. This could be brought before the ethics committee. Clearly the public notice requirements were not met. Furthermore, this was the least qualified candidate based on experience and education. It looks rigged. Another back room deal.