Supervisor Cavanaugh’s Costs to Pinal County Taxpayers


FLORENCE — Litigation connected to Pinal County Supervisor Kevin Cavanaugh has cost Pinal $169,291 in legal fees and insurance deductibles, but Cavanaugh said it’s actually the county attorney’s “bad hiring practices and political games” that have cost taxpayers.

“No unnecessary funds have been expended as a result of the Supervisor’s appropriate reporting to the county attorney,” Cavanaugh, R-Coolidge, said.

Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer and his staff compiled the total dollar figure at the request of another elected official, and PinalCentral obtained the report through a public records request.

Pinal paid out its full $75,000 insurance deductible following a lawsuit brought by top county attorney employees Garland Shreves and Amanda Stanford in response to false allegations of misconduct. Cavanaugh also wrote a personal check for $20,000 to settle that case.

The county paid its insurance pool $60,988 following another case in which a former Cavanaugh office administrator claimed age and sex discrimination and retaliation.

The county paid outside legal counsel $3,078 in one case and $30,225 in another to represent Cavanaugh. Volkmer wrote in his report the figures don’t include the cost of county staff time devoted to these matters, “which I assure you is significant.”

Cavanaugh responded by email that he has followed the law and policy in reporting issues brought to him, and he is “the only person who has demonstrated the willingness to raise issues of corruption, misconduct and ethics.”

As a county supervisor, he said he doesn’t have the authority to investigate issues, but his responsibility under the law is to forward them to the county attorney. But each time he has done so, “the County Attorney’s Office has never asked who gave the information, or attempted to interview the complainant. This is the very definition of investigative incompetence,” Cavanaugh said.

“… The County Attorney’s Office has expertly leveraged their position to harm political enemies, while protecting their cronies. It is ultimately Kent Volkmer’s bad hiring practices and political games that have been costly to taxpayers,” Cavanaugh said.

Cavanaugh is currently seeking the Republican nomination for sheriff. “What the County Attorney’s Office fears most is a sheriff who will not ignore corruption in Pinal County,” he said.

During his term as supervisor, Cavanaugh said the attention he focused on unpaid rent on a county building in Eloy resulted in a $25,000 recovery.

In another instance, a former employee claimed wrongful termination based on statements Cavanaugh allegedly made. “An audio recording of that lunch meeting directly contradicted the problematic employee’s statements and exonerated Cavanaugh, who wanted to deny the claim.” Instead, a majority of the Board of Supervisors agreed to settle with the former employee over Cavanaugh’s objections, he said.

As for the Shreves and Stanford lawsuit, “Any reasonable person would conclude that the lawsuit lacked merit, and for that reason settled for such a low amount,” Cavanaugh said.

Saddlebrooke Reaction

Kathleen Dunbar, President of the SaddleBrooke Republican had this reaction to the story to SBINSIDER:

“I have been at the forefront of Pima County politics for over 30 years.  I can’t remember any County Board of Supervisors or City Council Member being involved in lawsuits of this magnitude.  He is wasting our taxpayer money.  And if that wasn’t enough, he lives in constant chaos upsetting everyone around him and limiting the ability of county employees to do their jobs. I hope the voters are paying attention and NEVER elect this man to office again.  He is incapable of leading.”

SaddleBrooke GOP Club President, Kathleen Dunbar

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