THURSTON: Fires staffers as he prepares to take office.

A number of staffers at the Secretary of State’s office were informed today that their employment will be terminated in January, when incoming Secretary of State John Thurston takes office. Though they will be paid through the end of the year, they were told to leave today.

Thurston broke the news to the employees with a letter that states in part:


I regret to inform you that your employment with the Secretary of State’s office will end on January 14, 2019.

Thank you for your service to the Secretary of State’s office, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. 

The letter tells the staffers to contact the Human Resources division today with any questions and to complete exit paperwork.

I have asked for comment regarding why the changes were made from Thurston, currently the Commissioner of State Lands,  through his current office, and will update if I receive a response.


Chris Powell, press secretary for the outgoing Secretary of State, Mark Martin, provided the following comment:

Secretary Martin has not let anyone go since the election. The incoming Secretary of State has made some personnel decisions including not giving some persons an offer of employment in the new administration. To give the employees time to search for new opportunities, and as a cautionary measure, those who will not get an offer of employment from the new Secretary, have been given administrative leave with full pay and benefits until the new Secretary of State takes office in mid-January.

Powell did not reply to specific queries about the number of people who have been let go or their current positions.