JOHN THURSTON: Flouts law before he even starts as secretary of state.

Catchup on vacation happenings. I got a tip, first broken on the Arkansas Blog, about Land Commissioner John Thurston’s decision to sack 10 current secretary of state employees so as to make room for his people.

The item noted he’d let the fired employees stay on the state payroll on paid leave through the end of the year, but they should leave the office Dec. 3. Several readers questioned his authority to fire people who weren’t his employees and, furthermore, to extend them paid leave for not working.


Others noticed. In time, a followup letter came to the fired employes from a bona fide secretary of state employees saying, whoops, sorry about that. You can resign and be paid for accrued leave time or continue being paid on accrued time until it’s used up.

I’m sorry I didn’t post the corrective letter earlier. Blue Hog Report (currently not linkable) has also noted the reversal required by Thurston’s unauthorized activity, with pungent commentary. Will Thurston make us wish for the halcyon days of Mark Martin? Flouting the law before he even takes office is not a positive sign.