House speaker: No widespread nepotism in state agencies
CONCORD — House Speaker William O'Brien Tuesday said nepotism does not appear to be a widespread problem in state agencies.
However, two of the state's biggest agencies did not respond to O'Brien's request for information. The heads of Resources and Economic Development and Fish and Game did not report back, O'Brien said.
O'Brien asked state agency heads earlier this month if they had family members working in their agencies. He made the request after the Department of Employment Security commissioner resigned and the assistant commissioner was suspended for employing their children in part-time jobs and then having them laid off so they could collect unemployment benefits.
“I do appreciate that so many of our department heads responded promptly to our request to find out if nepotism is a problem with our state agency leadership,” O'Brien said. “Certainly, from what we've learned, it appears that the situation at Employment Security appears to be isolated.”
The only department head who responded to O'Brien's request to report having a family member working at the agency was Department of Safety deputy commissioner Earl Sweeney, who reported his son works as a state trooper.
“The House remains concerned that several agency leaders did not respond, which suggests the conclusion that there may be incidents of nepotism in their departments,” O'Brien said. “Our executive departments and administration committee will now work to find out if these . . . remaining state leaders have engaged in nepotism in their agencies.”
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