ADOT didn't just fire Cliff Young; it attempted to crucify him

Cliff Young was a good employee. During the first 21 years of Young's career at the Arizona Department of Transportation, his performance evaluations were great. He never faced so much as a written reprimand from his supervisors.

So it was kind of strange to sit in a courtroom last month, waiting for a judge to decide whether Cliff Young should go to prison for a crime committed against ADOT.

As the official "victim" in State v. Young, the agency urged that Young be given hard time. In a letter to the judge, a top ADOT administrator asked that Young "be given the most severe punishment permissible for the crime he committed."

That's two years in the slam, and we're not talking Tent City. We're talking prison. Young is a slight man who's spent most of his career as a network engineer — you can't imagine a guy who's less of a threat to society. And really, you can't imagine a guy who'd have a harder time adapting to prison.

ADOT's request was strictly punitive.

So what was the crime?

Young looked at some computer files that he was not authorized to view.

And let's be clear about what that means.

He wasn't sneaking into ADOT servers getting information in order to stalk a buxom colleague. Nor was he pulling Social Security numbers to steal his coworkers' identities and, perhaps, finance a meth habit.

Even in the prosecutors' version, Young did little more than open and print out an Excel sheet that compared performance evaluations of employees in different departments, access grievance information that showed which employees were complaining, and look at a few other macro-level documents.

Of course, he wasn't supposed to look at them, much less share them, and ADOT was right to take action.

Now, I think even firing him was a bit of an overreaction, but I work in an office where bad behavior is tolerated, and sometimes even praised. A writer here once kicked his foot through a wall when his computer crashed — and suffered no consequences whatsoever. Surely, others should be allowed their higher standards.

But charging a man with a felony for looking at the wrong files?

I've written about an ADOT employee who took freebies from the contractors he was supposed to be monitoring — and then extended the contract of one of his benefactors for five years, without allowing competitors a chance to bid. I've written about another employee who helped award millions of dollars in work to companies that hired his daughters. (See "Roadkill," June 22, 2006.)

Those employees may well have cost the taxpayers millions. But ADOT never did anything to rein them in, let alone punish them. They were allowed to retire with their good names — and pensions — intact. As far as I can tell, there's never been a real investigation into their actions.

Somehow, Cliff Young, a dedicated employee who did nothing more than look at records he wasn't supposed to look at, didn't just get fired. He got charged with a felony.

I'm not the only one who found this a little . . . screwy.

In the courtroom for sentencing on Good Friday, the assistant attorney general handling the case asked Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Edward Burke to consider the letter from the "victim," ADOT, the one that asked for a two-year prison sentence. The letter was written by John Bogert, chief of staff for ADOT Director Victor Mendez.

Burke, to his credit, looked like he was trying to contain his laughter.

"I think Mr. Bogert's letter was a little over the top," Judge Burke said. "I don't know all the politics going on down there at ADOT, and I don't need to know them. This is an employee who had an exemplary career."

You could almost see Young visibly relax.

Judge Burke then sentenced Young to a $200 fine and probation. If he successfully completes the terms, and does some community service, his felony will be reduced to a misdemeanor.

It was as close as a judge could come to telling the "victim" to go jump in a lake.


The backstory on this one is about as weird as the front story. But here goes.

Now 51, Young started working for ADOT in 1984. An Air Force veteran, he started in equipment services and quickly worked his way up to a management position as a network engineer. But a reorganization in 2004 put him on the Server Team, dealing with ADOT's linked network of computers — and back in a subservient role.

"I was a manager for sixteen years, and then I was pushed out," he says.

His new role still gave him access to high-level documents. As one of the guys running the system, Young knew how to get around in it.

But he says that's not how he found the documents that would come to haunt him.

In April 2006, Young claims, he came into work one day to find a computer disk lying on his desk. He popped it into his computer and voilà! There was a document showing that employees in Young's department were being systematically discriminated against on their performance evaluations.

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64 comments
asdkalsd
asdkalsd

Joe Throckmorton has been fired


anonymous
anonymous

Young sued the Arizona Department of Transportation for malicious prosecution and got a judgment against ADOT.

MrMJefferson
MrMJefferson

I"m Marcus J, i worked under cliff on the pc refresh team...Cliff was always fair.. i also noticed manament had it out for him way back in 92 when i worked their..ADOT is full of a bunch of WTF

ADOT Employee No More
ADOT Employee No More

This whole thing makes me laugh. i worked with Glenn during this time and it was a mess. death threats, affairs, etc. i hope more people post up what they know!

Dawn
Dawn

Joe Throckmorton is a sex offender.

Patricia Madison
Patricia Madison

What happened to the disk? If there was none, he must have gotten caught up in the economic crunch somehow and his curiosity must have gotten the best of him. Glad to know he wasn't sent to prison for 2 years.

It's gona get worse
It's gona get worse

First, Congratulations Cliff. I hope you go for the Appeal. It's been a long road and you've managed with grace and dignity.

Jeff Himmelstein and Company - Now there's a crew. They couldn't find one old ladies car. She had to do it herself. Apparently, every five years or so they need to get together run around and hand cuff someone to reaffirm their personal belief that they are actually performing some sort of public service. Get a real job!

To Comment #11 - Excellent idea on the full page ad. I'll be happy to join in.

Cliff's mistake probably happened the moment he walked over the the Personnel Office. I tried to tell people for years that those people are not your friends. Their job is to bury problems not address them. Look at the people they have there? We're not exactly talking "high quality" and education does not seem to be a requirement. Then there's that black dude with the 80's hair. What's that about? Grow old gracefully or at least ... not in public.

To Comment #43 - You may call yourself "concerned citizen but you be sounding a lot like the "bitter pill" Don't be such a poor sport. There's plenty of folks left to screw.

The way to ADOT's heart is by attacking their federal funds. They get a lot of them and they are required to provide Equal Opportunity, Due process, etc. Saying they do just does not count. Maybe we should take a deeper look???

Victor Mendez crawled across a lot of backs to get his position. He's not going to go quietly. Our Governor has never cared what ADOT was doing as long as it didn't cause her a problem. Actually, that's how she tends to handle all her business. As far as the AG's office, I'm assuming it was that creepy little white haired man that represented the state? In any case, rule of thumb at the AG's office. The kids come in as trainees and move on. If they've been there long enough to go white haired ... well it pretty well defines their talent.

There is no way anyone with any good sense couldn't see that something was REALLY wrong with this case. ADOT employees don't do their own jobs with the diligence apprent in the persecution of Cliff Young. Rest assured, as we speak, ADOT is doing it's best to put a positive spin on their very public loss.

JeTOPE
JeTOPE

As a former ADOT employee I can tell you that taking ANYTHING to the media assures your employment with ADOT is over! I can also say that ADOT be discriminatin' fools. I was fired for attendance issues with no infractions during my first 3 years and an above average work performance scoring. Infact the first thing ADOT did during my "Personel Board hearing" was announce that the Agency would like to identify that my work performance was never an issue (exemplatory, outstanding work performance)and that I never fell behind or handed in work that was of poor quality AT ANY TIME, INCLUDING THE PERIOD OF POOR ATTENDANCE. MY poor attendance came as I was trying to escape from an abusive and destructive "relationship".Before I was able to have the restraining order servered I was left with an empty thrashed apartment, an eviction notice (due to police being called) my car being vandalized every other day(she got my spare car keys too)and on my way to being terminated. I provided my supervisor with a copy of the restraining order, informed him of my home life crisis but because it wasn't a case of a man and woman having domestics it went to a deaf ear. As the Chief Right of Way Agent Sabra Mousavi said to me "Now Lorraine is a single mother and Susan takes care of her elderly mother and helps with her grandchildren, but there is absolutely no reason that you should be missing any work Julia." THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I FELT DISCRIMINATED AGAINST (and I'm pretty gay and grew up in a small and un-gay town before it was popular to be gay or bi). ADOT's discrimination is nasty and it leaves you screwed upon termination with very little chance of finding a food job at all but you can kiss working for any government agency (city, county, state or federal) goodbye. PS the restraining order I provided my supervisor meant so much that the person casually was in and out of my building until the very day I was fired. If she didn't find me in my cubicle then she was just redirected to where I was working in the building. Napalitano needs to pay attention to what ADOT is doing because in my opinion her neglegence is allowing that agency to run the way it is.

Jake
Jake

It was Roger Baune who was having the affair with Hala, not Cliff.

Sharon
Sharon

As civil servants you are employed to serve the objectives of State Government and the agency for which you work. It is your duty to support the mission of your agency and because you are entrusted with that duty this is why your existence is justified. It is your role in carrying out this mission that qualifies you to be paid from public funds and to use public resources. We as taxpayers expect you to place the obligations of public service above your own personal interests.

The agencies published value statement says;

We are truthful, honest and open. We obey the law.We treat people with respect and dignity. People are the foundation of ADOT�s success.We are accountable for our actions.

It would seem that ADOT has fallen far short of these basic values. In closing I�d like to say that I am greatly disappointed that the Arizona Department of Transportation is allowed to continue this unethical conduct with impunity.

I also vote
I also vote

One thing�s for sure, ADOT management underestimated Mr. Young. I�ll bet they never considered that he would stick to his guns and go to trial and then take his story to the press and make them look like the vindictive fools that they are. One reader commented it would be difficult for Mr. Young to get a job. I disagree, after reading this article and the comments posted I would be proud to have him work for my company.

Disgusted taxpayer and I vote
Disgusted taxpayer and I vote

It�s obvious that Mr. Young crossed the �good ole boy� network at ADOT when he brought up the complaint against Throckmorton. Mr. Young did one thing wrong in that he reported the misconduct to ADOT managers who were part of the problem. These managers had a vested interest in making sure he paid dearly for it. No wonder Throckmorton felt Mr. Young couldn�t be trusted after all he had already proven that he wouldn�t stand on the side lines and watch as ADOT managers continued to violate our public trust. It could just be that Mr. Young was one of the few managers at ADOT that still had some integrity, because of that ADOT tried to ruin his life. ADOT wasn�t happy with just firing him they tried to send him to prison. My guess is they are still trying. With this felony conviction hanging over Mr. Young�s head it will be hard for him just to get a job. They in effect did ruin his life. What a slap in the face this has to be for Mr. Young after a 21 year perfect career at ADOT. All taxpayers in this State should be disgusted with ADOT and the Attorney General�s Office not only for wasting our tax dollars, but for trying to ruin this man�s life in order to protect their own misconduct. In a normal state I�d say call the Governor�s Office however it appears she�s not interested in what�s happening on her watch.

Taxpayer
Taxpayer

Who do we need to call? This is ridiculous..It appears ADOT management is wasting our tax dollars and nothing is being done about it. This Throckmorton guy has got to go as well as his boss. Doesn't ADOT management have a code of ethical conduct? What ADOT management is getting away with is far worse than the guy they heavy-handedly threw the book at. The Governor should know about this.

Roger
Roger

It doesn�t matter what his name is. Personally I�d say his name was mud. It�s obvious that he�s the most disliked person at ADOT, and there�s nothing like having all your nasty little secrets exposed on the Internet. You can�t look up ADOT on Google without this story popping up. Looks like Cliff�s story made what�s his name famous.

Kim
Kim

I'm confused is his name Throckmorton or Throckmoron?

Really Concerned Citizen
Really Concerned Citizen

With all the affairs going on at ADOT, one has to ask when do you have time to plan closing every freeway in the valley each week end? I have a solution to the mess at ADOT, outsource the entire Agency!

Jason
Jason

It was Glenn Steven Jonas of ADOT Traffic Operations who was making up and spreading the rumors about Cliff. It seems Jonas was having an affair with Cliff�s wife while this was going on. It was also Jonas who was complaining to ADOT about Cliff and Throckmorton felt compelled to investigate Cliff by placing him on administrative leave each time Jonas made a complaint. Eventually Cliff complained and that began his down fall with Throckmorton. If anyone should have lost their job it should have been Jonas. His affair with Cliff�s wife was very disruptive to the work place. Cliff eventually got an injunction against Jonas to stop his attempts at causing Cliff to lose his job. I know I was there and I saw how entertaining this was for Glenn. I also understand that Glenn was fired from ADOT by Juan Martin who at that time was the MVD Director. Glenn was fired because Director Martin didn�t want someone working on your MVD records with the extensive criminal history that Glenn had. So how did Glenn get re-employed by ADOT?

Current ADOT Insider
Current ADOT Insider

This link takes you to Karen Strickland�s divorce. It was her husband who filed for divorce after she began an affair with Throckmorton her boss.http://www.superiorcourt.maric...

This link takes you to Joseph Thomas Throckmorton�s and Karen�s prenuptial agreement. http://156.42.40.50/UnOfficialDocs/pdf/20060829094.pdf

And this link takes you to Karen Strickland who is listed as representing ADOT ITG (Information Technology Group) where Joe Throckmorton is the Chief Information Officer .http://www.azdot.gov/CCPartner...

Need more proof? Joe T. do you remember ADOT�s Deputy Director telling you that she hoped this relationship didn�t come back to haunt you? God I love the Internet and public records.

AFSCME Union Member
AFSCME Union Member

Kick ass AFSCME! That was a great middle finger to ADOT management. I�m proud to say that�s my Union.

Steven L. Higgins
Steven L. Higgins

Regarding your comments concerning the Arizona Personnel Board. I did not expect to win this hearing. After all if they had found in my favor this would have open the door for a law suite for the State of Arizona and the management at Arizona Department of Transportation. This is why the Attorney General�s office represented ADOT. (DA!) Just the fact there is a recording of the complaint is enough for me, at least I did not stick my tail between my legs as so many other employees that sale their souls in the name of job preservation, concerned citizen from phoenix.

Present and former ADOT employee�s who know Cliff Young are outraged with the events that resulted in his unjust verdict in Maricopa Superior Court. The current ADOT employee who supports Mr. Young is concerned with retaliation; Mr. Young and other former ADOT employee�s are examples of the ADOT machine. It is the former employee�s who are no longer threatened by ADOT who speak out. It is my hope that the state Senate, Legislation or Governor office will begin jumping up and down and give credence to these comments and seek investigation to these so called conflicting stories. It seems to me that ADOT management is the only ones telling stories, they have the most to lose, and former employees have nothing to loss.

As to being bitter, I would not give ADOT or its management the satisfaction. By the way concerned citizen from phoenix, did you make these comments on my time public servant?

AFSCME Union
AFSCME Union

Dear Concerned Citizen (AKA ADOT management), perhaps you should check your facts. Mr. Higgins resigned from ADOT under pressure from his supervisor. Mr. Higgins sent a letter requesting that he could withdraw his resignation; this letter was responded to by NO OTHER THAN JOE THROCKMORON himself. Of course Joe did not allow Mr. Higgins to withdraw his resignation letter. MORE DISINFORMATION by ADOT managers. Steve was never fired as was alleged by one of Joe�s managers.

We didn�t delete our copies from AFSCME. We have a copy of his resignation letter and the responses. We have the 1st illiterate response from Throckmoron and we also have the response from head criminal Vic Mendez. I�m sure Mr. Higgins wouldn�t mind AFSCME sharing this information with you so that you could actually be informed about what you are talking about. Copies can be obtained by writing to AFSCME, 420 N 15th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85007. We know what we are talking about, and we don�t spread disinformation.

concerned citizen
concerned citizen

TO STEVE HIGGINS - R U the same, terminated ADOT employee from here: http://www.personnel.state.az.... and the AZ Personnel board erases each months minutes so here is the context, "I"m going to make a motion that we adopt the hearing officer's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law as our own. I then move the complainant's complaint be denied and the whistleblower complaint be dismissed."

yea, ur not bitter.

And to the rest of the current or former employees who have commented here, many conflicting stories posted here in the comments and it seems as if noone really KNOWS for sure what really happened. It seem s like all speculation, "S/He did not do this because i know them" type child-play. But it sure does seem that all the disgruntled former ADOT employees are posting here with all kind of accusations. And that seems about it, accusations. And it seems if anyone contradicts any of the statements printed here, all these 'former' employees jump up and down. Honestly, to these 'former' employees, good riddance!

Ben
Ben

Let�s not loose site of the fact that ADOT violated Cliff�s Civil Rights when Jeff Himmelstein and others came to his house and pretended to have an arrest warrant, and also pretended to have a search warrant. Keep in mind that when this happened Cliff was a private citizen and was no longer employed by ADOT. Himmelstein and ADOT had no authority under Arizona statutes to investigate an alleged felony, and by the way they never showed Cliff any warrants. Still Cliff was handcuffed and taken away to ADOT�s secret OSI Office at 7th St and Thunderbird where Himmelstein questioned Cliff for several hours regarding his testimony before the State Personnel Board. Cliff�s case was sealed by the hearing officer at ADOT�s request and was not supposed to be discussed outside the Hearing Office. Cliff reported that the questions Himmelstein asked were the same as had been given in testimony at the hearing. Himmelstein also asked Cliff questions regarding how long he had been in the Union, when did he join the Union and other questions that clearly had no bearing on the case. Instead these questions reflect the contempt that Victor Mendez and his band of thieves have for the Union and its members. You should know that Cliff was a Union Steward at the time of his dismissal from ADOT. I ask you as citizens of this State is this the type of behavior that you want taking place in the Department of Transportation? In closing I have to say kudos to Sarah Fenske and Cliff for exposing these bastards for what they are. Janet Napolitano has turned her blind eye to the corruption going on at ADOT, because she has taken little or no interest in the affairs of this State she has no business taking on an even higher office in Washington DC. Rumors have it that Janet is on the shortlist for a political appointment if Obama is elected to the Office of President. I urge you to call the Obama Campaign Offices at (866) 675-2008, you can also contact them by mail at: Obama for America P.O. Box 8102 Chicago, IL 60680. Call or write and let them know your displeasure with Janet.

Jason
Jason

We are trying to figure out how Glenn still has his job at ADOT Traffic Operations. He was convicted of burglary, embezzlement, grand theft, drug possession and other felony charges. I find it interesting that with all these criminal convictions he still has access to sensitive records at ADOT.

David
David

Speaking of affairs on State time, State dime! Joe Thomas Throckmorton is the king, in the last few years he�s had at least three that we know of. Karen, Kim, Dawn, and probably many others we don�t know about. He and Karen were flying to Las Vegas to carry on their love life and we as the tax payers were paying for the air fares and hotels. This can be verified by addressing your public records requests to Joyce Geyser at ADOT, 206 S 17th Ave, Phoenix, Arizona. Not bad for fifty nine year old that wears a toupe.

Computer Forensic Investigator
Computer Forensic Investigator

Wes Bateman the so-called investigator in this case was actually caught using Mr. Young�s network account and password. Bateman was given a list of computers to examine by Tami Price, the Infrastructure Manager and one of Throckmorton�s employees. Somehow Bateman he never got around to looking at most of the computers and went straight for Mr. Young�s. Mr. Young�s supervisor Bob Powell, told all the employees of the server team to clean off their computers because this incident was going to be investigated by Bateman. When Mr. Young tried to subpoena the security logs from the servers which would have indicated who had accessed this document amazingly ADOT claimed all the logs had been overwritten and were not pertinent anyway. In short ADOT destroyed everything that would have proven Mr. Young to be innocent. The only link to that ADOT had to Mr. Young was somehow shortcuts to this document were found on one of Mr. Young�s machines. These shortcuts to all had the same exact date and time stamp. The Hearing officer noticed this discrepancy and asked Wes Bateman, �How is it possible that Mr. Young could have looked at all these files at the exact same second�. Bateman replied �he really didn�t know�. It would appear that these shortcuts were all copied to Mr. Young�s machine or created programmatically. There are many unanswered questions in this case that would seem to be problematic for ADOT. Good luck Mr. Young in your appeal.

Lookin for love in all the wro
Lookin for love in all the wro

The Infrastructure Manager has sex in State buildings? Wow! I've always heard the State had great benefits! Where do I sign up?

Steven L. Higgins
Steven L. Higgins

We Americans puff ourselves up when threats to our freedom and our so-called way of live are threatened, yet threats and acts of abuse of authority in the work place from some of the Arizona Department of Transportation Management go unchallenged. We stick our tails between our legs like whipped pups, hiding behind the cloak that we must not up-set management by saying anything in the name of job preservation. I must admit that during most of my seven-years of employment with ADOT I tried to remain focused solely on my job, trying to stay below the radar. My immediate manager wanted to mold my way of thinking, and admittedly, for a time, I too was fearful of losing my job if I had any disagreement in the so-called management style. When I had a personnel legal matter develop in the first quarter of 2007, I turned to my immediate management to hopefully seek some empathy to the false allegation that was alleged and to advise why I was going to need additional time off from work. I also sought empathy from a couple of co-workers whom I thought would be compassionate and empathic as well. Not thinking at the time that anyone would take me literally, I admittedly used an inappropriate symbolism to try to describe the anxiety I was going through. The next thing I knew, I not only had to contend with false allegation in my legal plight, but I was also being attacked on the work front. I was confronted with mandatory psychological evaluations and when this was not successfully able to remove me from my employment. I believe that ADOT management from the supervisor up to the Director of ADOT to include the support of ADOT Human Resource conspired means to remove me from my employment. Without going into extensive detail, I was subjected to additionally, not one but two special evaluations based on my work performance. I was subjected to weekly reviews of every maniacal notation that would place me in an unfavorable position such as, failing to say good morning to my supervisor, or forgetting to place a signature block on an E-mail. My work performance always met expectations in previous years and although I was dealing with an outside influence, my work ethic was unchanged. When I attempted to reason with management why there was no progressive discipline measures instead of jumping straight into a special evaluation. I was offered a letter of reprimand and management declared that I requested this measure. To add to the insult, I was directed that if I accepted this reprimand in place of the Special Evaluation that I would have to sign away my rights to due process and could not grieve the reprimand. The main subject matter of the reprimand was that I had to stop declaring that management was trying to create a constructive discharge of my employment. Going to a department of the Governor Office, I sought assistance and they directed a letter to the director of ADOT to seek an investigation. Although ADOT management claims they are unaware of any such letter from the Governor�s Office, astonishingly the following day my second special evaluation was over turned and although I had not changed a thing in my work ethic, I suddenly met work expectations. The harassment did not stop, I was subjected to increased workloads, and management was scrutinizing my every movement. They created such a hostile work environment until one day; eight months later in an emotional reaction to the ongoing harassment, I presented my resignation. They declined my attempt to withdraw my resignation on a technicality, but I believe the truth is this was a good way to stop the investigation from the Governor�s Office. The aforementioned events where depicted for several reasons. First, it is my belief that my request for assistance from Cliff Young, a Union Representative for AFSCME, antagonized ADOT management resulting in prejudicial treatment in my case. Secondly, I believe that if everyone who has illustrations of wrong doing on the part of ADOT and/or management should be annotated in this article. Perhaps the Governor�s Office will have to take action to correct the problems. Finally, my hope is that people under ADOT employment will unite in numbers to force the changes that are so prevalently needed within ADOT�s working environment. I suggest contacting AFSCME @ 602-252-6501 to show your support. After all Cliff and the good people at AFSCME are powerless without you and that is the way ADOT management wants it.

Mark
Mark

Cliff's attorney? Cliff's attorney was a public defender. They're better known as deal brokers. The public defenders work for Maricopa County, need I say more? When Cliff stood his ground and refused to bargain by not taking taking a plea his attorney simply did little or nothing for him. Unfortunatly this is the way things work here in the State of Arizona.

I can't use my name because I'
I can't use my name because I'

Several people from ADOT who worked on the server team with Cliff including myself were called to testify on Cliff�s behalf. A couple of days before we were to testify for Cliff, each of us were called into a meeting with ADOT�s Motor Vehicle Investigator, Jeff Himmelstein. Himmelstein asked each of us about the case and told us that he knew the AFSCME Union had subpoenaed us to testify on behalf of Cliff. Himmelstein went on to threaten us by saying that if we were asked by the Union about the case that we could not say anything. He went on to say that it had become a criminal matter and that we were to tell Cliff�s representative and the Union that we could not talk about it. He went on to say that if we did testify about what we knew that we could be prosecuted in a criminal matter. I felt that this was a direct threat to my job if I told what I really knew about the diskette and the spreadsheet I would not only be fired but possibly prosecuted by ADOT. I felt bad that I couldn�t testify for Cliff as to what I knew about this case; however I did not want to be prosecuted by ADOT. After seeing what ADOT did to Cliff it just makes me sick. You can�t imagine what it�s like to work for this place. We are all afraid that if we come forward we will lose our jobs and even worse we might have the same thing happen to us. Sorry Cliff for not having the guts to stand up like you did.

Former employee of ADOT securi
Former employee of ADOT securi

Wes, Throckmoron�s chief investigator got his forensic certification from an open book, multiple choice test he supposedly took over the Internet. The company that sells these online tests allows you to purchase as many �practice� tests as you want before taking the online test. This speaks volumes when you consider the fact that no law enforcement agency ever did an independent investigation into this matter. I also find it incredible that Cliff was prosecuted by the AG�s office on the basis of such a flimsy investigation, let alone that he was convicted. It�s obvious that Wes was in over his head on this investigation and ADOT should have had DPS�s Forensic Unit investigate this matter assuming that a crime had actually been committed. The only reason Throckmoron and ADOT used their own so-called pseudo investigator was they obviously wanted to control the outcome of the investigation. I agree where was Cliff�s attorney?

Danny
Danny

For all you lawyer type, PER-5.05 ADOT guidelines for progessive discipline state under section 7 (gaining unauthorized access to state records) 1st offense - WRITTEN REPRIMAND TO SUSPENSION. So apparently even ADOT violates their own rules. Interesting, huh?

First year law student
First year law student

What happened to Cliff�s attorney? And where does ADOT get their authority to investigate a felony matter? I thought they were responsible for building and maintaining the State�s highway system. Even a first year law student could see the incredible conflict of interest for the AG�s Office to bring charges against Cliff and then to prosecute him on felony charges.

Name withheld fearful of ADOT
Name withheld fearful of ADOT

I have to point out that Mr. Young�s case was the last case heard by David Gering for the State of Arizona. Seems David was involved in a little ex-parte communications and resigned his position as a hearing officer rather than face the music for tainting a case. It seems ironic that David Gering pointed the finger at Cliff and determined that Cliff could not be trusted when he had already proven that he had no problem violating the Judicial Code of Conduct. He also allowed an ADOT witness to be present at Cliff�s Hearing for the entire proceeding so that he could listen to all the testimony. After Wes (we won�t give his real name) had heard all the other testimony he was allowed to repeat the other witnesses testimony as his own. This had to be the fastest railroad in Arizona.

Former ADOT TOC employee
Former ADOT TOC employee

I worked with the �Glenn� in the comments when I was at the ADOT Traffic Operation Center for about three years. I remember that there was some kind of involvement with Cliff�s wife and I know that Cliff filed an Injunction Against Harassment against �Glenn� in Maricopa County Superior Court to stop him from harassing Cliff at work not the other way around.

Hala�s friend for many years
Hala�s friend for many years

An affair on state time, on state dime (off-site hotels paid for by ADOT? First of all I�d like to say I�m appalled that an individual�s name was dragged through the mud that had nothing to do with this case. This is typical of the management at ADOT. Second Cliff was not required to travel as part of his job, since he lived in Glendale he was not authorized to stay in hotels. Third if Cliff did have an affair he probably would have been promoted and would still be at ADOT since affairs get you promoted to CIO and your salary raised 40%. It�s a well known fact that the current Infrastructure Manager at ADOT has had sex in several state buildings as a result she was promoted and her salary was raised to $85,000 and yes she also works for Joe.

Joe (thankfully not a Throckmo
Joe (thankfully not a Throckmo

In response to neitherhereorther; If you are trying to infer that just because you are found guilty by the United States Justice System that you are actually guilty. Tell that to the 129 defendants that were convicted, sentenced to death and subsequently either-a) their conviction was overturned AND i) they were acquitted at re-trial or ii) all charges were droppedb) or they were given an absolute pardon by the governor based on new evidence of innocence

Some of those individuals were sitting on death row for as long as 33 years before DNA or other evidence came along and proved their innocence. To date DNA evidence has exonerated 16 individuals from Death Row since 1973. How does this happen you say? Perhaps reading the individual cases at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.or... will give you some insight into how the system really works. In those cases you will see a common theme; they were poor and couldn�t afford a good attorney. There have been several high profile cases recently where the defendant literally got away with murder because they could afford the best attorneys. Mr. Young would have been sent to prison for two years if ADOT management had gotten their way. Instead Judge Burke knew something was wrong about this case and gave Mr. Young what amounted to a slap on the hand. Thank god or what ever deity you believe in for Judges like Judge Burke who are not swayed by political influences and pray that you never become a victim of the system.

Steven L. Higgins
Steven L. Higgins

Response to the comment by the author of neitherhereorthere from phoenix today 5/16/08 at 02:03 P.M. First of all, I do not work for the great State of Arizona any more because I got fed up with the B.S. and quit. The time that I spent commenting on this issue regarding my innocent friend Mr. Cliff Young on April 24th at 08:50 was made during my time, if it is anyone�s business. Furthermore, anyone with half a brain if they attended the trial for Mr. Young, or if they read the transcript testimony, would conclude that it was all B.S. I believe the judge saw this to be B.S. and this is why he only fined Mr. Young the total sum of 200 dollars. Additionally, he encouraged Mr. Young to share his knowledge of computers in his order of community service. Interesting, since the allegation was computer tampering. The reason that Mr. Young was found guilty in my opinion was that he had a public defender that knew little about computers, did not prepare his case on Mr. Young�s behalf and the jury wanted to go home on a Friday afternoon. I will have you know that I tried to talk my friend Mr. Young out of going to trial, because of the injustices of justice, and even the judge offered Mr. Young a plea prior to trial, a deal that would have amounted to practically nothing. Mr. Young, standing on principle and believing that justice would prevail stood his ground, believing in the justice system. Finally, NEITHERHERORTHERE your comments �Those who critize Joe T. shouldn't do it from work if you value your job.� This is just the type of tyranny that Mr. Young and all of the good people of AFSCME unions are trying to fight against. IS THIS STILL AMERICA?? I would like to reiterate my previous comments of April 24th in my opinion �The abuse of authority at ADOT, and from what I have seen in other state government agencies, has been going on much too long, it is time for reform. I encourage all government employees to join unions and become the majority to create change within state government.� I am not pro-union; I am just anti-abuse of authority and corruption. I would also suggest that anyone commenting on this article regarding Mr. Young stand behind your comments and identify yourself, after all according to the author NEITHERHERORTHERE this would be acceptable as long as it is not during work hours.

neitherhereorthere
neitherhereorthere

Comment by Steven L. Higgins from Glendale Apr 24th, 08:50 Thursday, a work day, posting from work?

Comment by Concerned ADOT employee from Phoenix May 16th, 09:00Friday, a work day, posting from work?Those who critize Joe T. shouldn't do it from work if you value your job.

And $200 fine or not, the guy was still found guilty. Guilty is guilty.

Concerned ADOT employee
Concerned ADOT employee

The comment made by Comment by former ADOT employee from Today, 08:49 are incredibly outrageous. The real reason Mr. Young was terminated was because he brought to light the wrongdoings of the CIO, Joe Throckmorton. The truth is Mr. Young filed a complaint with ADOT�s Human Resources regarding Joe Throckmorton having an affair with one of his employees and then raising her salary to $80,000+ per year. After Mr. Young filed his complaint he was demoted by Joe Throckmorton, his subordinate whom Throckmorton was having the affair with retired happily from ADOT. Both Joe and his subordinate denied the affair. Nothing happened to Joe or his subordinate and she and Joe got married just before Joe terminated Cliff. Hum� Now she and Joe are living happily ever after on her retirement and his $100,000 per year. Hum.. It was Joe Throckmorton who created the document that was later found on Cliff�s desk. Hum.. When Cliff turned it in to his supervisor the diskette disappeared never to be seen again. Hum� It was also Joe who had his people investigate Cliff. Both investigators and Cliff�s supervisor quit ADOT while Cliff was going through his personnel hearing. It was also Joe who pushed for Cliff to be prosecuted in a felony case. Hum.. The Governor really needs to investigate the corruption going on at ADOT.

Caci Employee
Caci Employee

I remember a Project Enterprise a few years back where Joe Throckmorton was the chief auditor and that project lost between 30-40 million dollars for the taxpayers of the State. Instead of Joe being fired his buddy John Bogert now Chief of Staff for Victor Mendez promoted him to the position that he currently holds as Chief Information Officer at ADOT. John Bogert also hired Chief auditor Michael R. Spector. Michael R. Spector participated in a $2.1 million securities scam in which his company received at least $97,000. Spector later signed a consent decree in 1997 to settle a Security and Exchange Commission securities fraud investigation. See the New Times article, August 18, 2005 http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com.... Is there anyone at ADOT that is not involved in criminal activities? When is the Governor going to clean house at ADOT?

Blake
Blake

I had to check this out according to Maricopa County Court records Mr. Young was awarded the family home and was living in the family residence located at 7703 N 47th Drive, Glendale at the time of his divorce. The records show that Mr. Young was ordered to sell the home as part of his divorce settlement. There is no record that the home was ever awarded to Mr. Young�s wife nor was it ever �burned�.

2. Father is 42 years of age and resides sometimes in Phoenixin the former family residence, and with his father. Father works as a computer technician at the Arizona Department ofTransportation. The most recent report of his gross monthlyincome is $5,158.12. The parties' residence located at 7703 N. 47th Drive,Glendale, Arizona shall immediately be listed for sale and sold.Net proceeds shall be shared equally by the parties. However, ifthe residence sells prior to September 15, 2001 and Father stillowes Mother the equalizer payments provided for above ($1,075.50and $825), those sums shall come out of Father's one-half share

Current ADOT employee in fear
Current ADOT employee in fear

First of all I was at Mr. Young�s personnel board hearing. I also know �Donna� who used to work at ADOT Human Resources and I can tell you that she retired from ADOT approximately 6 years before Mr. Young was terminated. I can also tell you that �Donna� was not at his hearing and was never called to testify either for or against Mr. Young. The writer of this comment doesn�t know what he or she is talking about.

Current ADOT employee
Current ADOT employee

The person who wrote the comment regarding Cliff obviously does not know him. I have known him for over 15 years and I can assure you none of these statements are true. This shows just how low ADOT�s Joe Throckmorton will stoop to discredit Cliff.

former ADOT employee
former ADOT employee

Nice story, and that is all it is, a story, meant to entertain. I have had the misfortune of working with Mr. Young over the past several years. However, there are two sides to every story. And performance evaluations alone will not tell the true story.

My favorite quote from this article, "Young is a slight man who's spent most of his career as a network engineer � you can't imagine a guy who's less of a threat to society."

Well during my brief time at ADOT I can say the following:

1) During Mr. Young's 'management' career on the PC LAN team, Mr. Young had an extra-marital affair, with is then immediate supervisor (Hala), on state time, on the state dime (off-site hotels paid for by ADOT).

2) Mr. Young's wife divorced him for another employee (Glenn). Mr. Young has stalked, harassed, and threatened that employee. Again, on State time.

3) Mr. Young was accused of arson during his time at ADOT. It was rumored that he burned down his home after it was awarded to his ex-wife.

4) A former human resources worker (Donna), is so deathly terrified of Mr. Young that during his personnel proceedings, she would not even wait in the same building as Cliff and had to wait, physically, across the street from the proceedings at the AG office.

Just those four examples I have provided, and can be verified, indicate that, YES, this man is a threat to society (based on his previous actions that in today's world can be considered terroristic). There are numerous other mis-deeds and allegations over the years about Cliff Young.

former ADOT employee
former ADOT employee

Nice story, and that is all it is, a story, meant to entertain. I have had the misfortune of working with Mr. Young over the past several years. However, there are two sides to every story. And performance evaluations alone will not tell the true story.

My favorite quote from this article, "Young is a slight man who's spent most of his career as a network engineer � you can't imagine a guy who's less of a threat to society."

Well during my brief time at ADOT I can say the following:

1) During Mr. Young's 'management' career on the PC LAN team, Mr. Young had an extra-marital affair, with is then immediate supervisor (Hala), on state time, on the state dime (off-site hotels paid for by ADOT).

2) Mr. Young's wife divorced him for another employee (Glenn). Mr. Young has stalked, harassed, and threatened that employee. Again, on State time.

3) Mr. Young was accused of arson during his time at ADOT. It was rumored that he burned down his home after it was awarded to his ex-wife.

4) A former human resources worker (Donna), is so deathly terrified of Mr. Young that during his personnel proceedings, she would not even wait in the same building as Cliff and had to wait, physically, across the street from the proceedings at the AG office.

Just those four examples I have provided, and can be verified, indicate that, YES, this man is a threat to society (based on his previous actions that in today's world can be considered terroristic). There are numerous other mis-deeds and allegations over the years about Cliff Young.

Former ADOT employee
Former ADOT employee

Why would you call ADOT to voice your concern? So they can manipulate the information to their own advantage. Call the governor's office instead at 602-542-1318 and demand the Director's dismissal along with his executive core team.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

It is true about the management salaries in ITG. It would be interesting to see what a public records request for the salaries of the ITG management team pre-Joe Throckmorton and now. For example, one might find that the manager of the security department's salary has increased 10K for the past 3 consecutive years. The same department responsible for spearheading the investigation against Cliff. It was this department that began investigating its own employees and systematically began 'targeting' higher salary employees in line level positions. By eliminating a few higher-paid line level employees, the management salaries could be increased.

Katie
Katie

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