I asked her where the money went. She couldn’t answer even though she sat on the Appropriations Committee and had every right and duty to inquire.
I attended the debate and listened to all candidates. You hear the usual cookie cutter claims of “small government”, “balancing the budget” etc. Debbie Lesko is proud of her purported reputation. Although she touts her awards from various organizations as “champion” for tax payers by various special interest groups, she has to address a major glaring concern that isn’t brought up:
In 2015-16 Debbie announced to our LD21 that Greg McKay admits to “misspending” $40 million. This money was mixed state funds and federal grants to lower their staggering backlog of un-investigated cases. The group was appalled and I asked her where the money went. She couldn’t answer even though she sat on the appropriations committee and had every right and duty to enquire. I strongly suggested a forensic audit since the agency is also struggling with low morale and a high turnover. She said “I don’t think we can do that”. Really? The state mandates by statute that every year cities conduct an audit so why can’t our legislators do one on an agency they control?
Nothing was done that I can tell and no one wanted to talk about it publicly. Well, the next year, with Debbie on the Appropriations committee, she approves a $60 million increase in DCS budget requested by Greg McKay. So now we have over $100 million with no accountability and still have reports of continuing mistakes being committed by AZ DCS. These are children we are talking about. How does this align with “Republican Values” and limited government with accountability? It doesn’t. Now, this is a large agency and I believe Mr. McKay cares about these kids, but this is ridiculous. There’s been no oversight by the appropriations committee including Debbie Lesko. We now have a class action law suit that will, and is, costing tax payers more. I would like to know why Debbie waited to resign at 5:00 p.m. on the first day of session leaving LD 21 with only 5 days to select a replacement. Was it to give her friend Rick Gray an edge? Or was it to work one full day of the new session giving her an additional full year towards retirement. Again, Washington doesn’t need more of the establishment mentality as I interpret some of Debbie’s actions. We have a serious problem and need a strong principled candidate with a consistent demonstration of our values. Randy Miller LD 21