Former Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos is under fire in Santa Ana, California, for raking in a nearly $800,000 salary on the backs of taxpayers in California and Arizona.
And when a local television reporter for a CBS affiliate tried to interview him about his outrageous income, which includes perks and pension payments, he sped away in his city-owned car.
Video at the end of the post.
It was not a good look for the man who also has been criticized in Phoenix for ditching the city and taking a job in Santa Ana shortly after he was given a $78,000 raise that bumped up his pay to $315,000 -- and thus greatly boosted his pension payments.
The money was supposed to be an incentive for him to stay. Instead, it just padded his pension.
Check out the video. It's both painful and fun to watch as Cavazos first declines an interview, then speeds away from a reporter and cameraman, and then, when he is finally cornered by the news crew at a city meeting, "misstates" his Phoenix pension by about $100,000 and trips over himself as he tries to explain how his greatness is what earned him the money.
Frankly, we're surprised he didn't bolt out of the back of the building.
**Since we know this blog about Phoenix's former city manager gaming the pension system is likely to draw some pension reform comment from Councilman Sal DiCiccio, we'll remind readers now: DiCiccio voted to approve Cavazos' $78,000 pay raise amid a citywide hiring freeze and he approved Cavazos' contract without ensuring there were any taxpayer protections that would prevent Cavazos from milking the city's pension system.
For a die-hard pension reformist, DiCiccio didn't act to ensure pension safeguards in one of the few contracts for which he has direct oversight.**
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.