The Democrat-Gazette reported this morning on a note in a Legislative Audit review of the Lottery Commission that there was no documented working schedule for Lottery Director Bishop Woosley. The audit said an attorney general’s opinion might be useful in determining whether the director falls under the governor’s policy directive that requires the governor’s approval for those who work flexible schedules outside 8-4:30 p.m. regular hours.
Woosley said he’s never had a documented schedule and that, as many executive agency heads do, he works more than 40 hours a week. (I can attest he’s answered questions from me on nights and weekends.)
Do we require explicit schedules and time sheets for chief executive officers of independent state agencies hired by commissions appointed by multiple public officials? Maybe the law does have such a requirement. Maybe not. Legislators anxious to jerk around the Lottery Commission naturally can be expected to gin up questions about the agency to contribute to their ongoing effort to take over the operation for the benefit of a British gambling outfit represented by some well-connected Republican lobbyists.
But let’s think more broadly about working schedules.
I wonder what’s on file for those employees of the lieutenant governor’s office who spent five months on taxpayers’ teat after Mark Darr left office. They had nothing to do and did nothing. What did their working schedules reflect? I wonder, particularly, about $75K chief of staff Bruce Campbell — who authorized Mark Darr’s illicit expense payments and who now is a staffer for Asa Hutchinson. I wonder what his time sheets showed during his deadwood days. He was campaigning for Hutchinson at the time (though presumably not on the state time clock). Campbell in the Huckabee years also headed a little state agency, Rural Services, that never came under scrutiny on working hours. Government is well-stocked with agencies, particularly those that serve the numerous industry regulatory commissions, led by paid employees like Woosley. What do their work schedules look like?
And speaking of work schedules: I’d love to see one for Secretary of State Mark Martin. Numerous of his employees say he makes only sporadic appearances at the office, preferring to moonlight as an engineer from his home in Prairie Grove. Constitutional officers are exempt from any gubernatorial rules of course. And apparently exempt from any accountability.
A work schedule on file also is not guarantee that it is observed.