Pinal County Supervisor Hired "Friend" Who Was on the County's "Do Not Hire" List

We came across an interesting story at about a "friend" of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and his minions getting hired to a swell-paying job -- even though he'd been placed on the county's "do not hire" list.

Reporter Adam Guab wrote that Manuel Vega, 24, was on that list, but District 2 Republican Supervisor Cheryl Chase hired him as her assistant anyway.

See also: -Babeu's "Elite" Staff Overcomes Bad Behavior with Loyalty -Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu's Medical-Marijuana Connection: His Spokeswoman Chase made a request to her former boss -- Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu -- to reconsider the hiring status for Vega, who had resigned abruptly from the Sheriff's Office in 2010 after having been caught lying about his work experience in an interview for a higher position in the agency, Guab reported.

Babeu orchestrated Vega's rehiring -- despite county records indicating that he was dishonest -- by announcing that county officials found "merit" to his appeal.

It's not unlike Babeu rehiring Jayme Valenzuela and giving him one of the top jobs in the Pinal County Jail. County records revealed he had a work history with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office -- and other jobs -- steeped in poor, unmotivated job performance.

He also was one of Babeu's political supporters.

Chase's comments to the local newspaper help explain such brow-raising hires:

"I have known Manuel Vega for several years as a friend," Chase said in a statement issued Friday. "He is extremely qualified and has done a wonderful job in helping me represent the county. I felt he was an excellent choice for the community relations administrator position and I would continue to recommend him."

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Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo