News

Psyched Out: Governor Jan Brewer’s Liaison Hijacks the Democratic Process

Page 3 of 3

But a repeal? Definitely not.

Senseman suggested that it may have been a misunderstanding. Perhaps, he said, Dr. Olvey wrongly characterized her discussion with Auther.

"It sounds like conjecture on the part of that staff member," he said. "Maybe something is lost in translation."

But board minutes make it clear that Dr. Olvey wasn't the only one who heard Auther push for repeal. Another staffer, and the board's lobbyist, were both present.

More importantly, Dr. Olvey seemed to have no doubts about what she'd been instructed.

"[Auther] read the minutes and wanted to be sure that the board is clear — there is to be no negotiating on that section about court-appointed psychologists," Olvey reported at the September 4 meeting. "Her position is that the section needs to be returned to its original language."

There is to be no negotiating? Kind of hard to misinterpret that.

I read that passage aloud to Senseman. He seemed surprised.

"That is certainly not the position of the administration," he told me.

I didn't think so.

The question now is what Governor Brewer is going to do about it. Will her team persist in taking the easy way out and insist that both the board staff and the board's lobbyist somehow misunderstood Auther? Or will they admit that their employee has gone rogue — and take steps to deal with her actions?

The record is clear. The governor's response to this nonsense should be absolutely clear, too.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sarah Fenske
Contact: Sarah Fenske