Arizona AG Goddard Orders Layoffs; 29 People Lose Jobs, Though Not Recent High-Profile Hires


Tim Nelson

Twelve attorneys and 17 support staff members at the Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard's office will get pink slips, but not the three high-profile hires made this year by Goddard.

Anne Hilby, Goddard's spokeswoman, confirmed for New Times that among those who won't be losing their jobs are:

* Tim Nelson, the Democrat who ran unsuccessfully against Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas in the general election. Goddard hired Nelson last month as his chief deputy.

* Gerald Richard, the Democrat who ran unsuccessfully against Nelson in the primary election. Richard was brought in by Goddard in February as a "special policy advisor" making about $97,000 a year.

* Greg Stanton, the former Phoenix City Councilman who left his post to become a lobbyist for Goddard making $119,000 a year. As New Times columnist Sarah Fenske pointed out, the move could be a paving of the road to the AG's seat for Stanton by ally Goddard, who's going to be term-limited out in 2010.

Hilby was ready for the cyncism by the time we called:

"They serve critical functions in the office," she says, after being asked whether any of the three were on the layoff list, adding that each man is "extremely experienced" in his field.

That field being politics, of course -- though Hilby didn't put it that way. Meanwhile, attorneys from every major division at the AG's office were cut.

Goddard's a man who knows his priorities.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.