Hidden conflicts of interest in state hiring | Arkansas Blog

Hidden conflicts of interest in state hiring

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CONFLICTS: FOI pends for statement Jessica Dorrell had to file for job at UA.
  • CONFLICTS: FOI pends for statement Jessica Dorrell had to file for job at UA.
The Bobby Petrino affair has some legislators talking about requiring disclosure of potential conflicts on account of romantic interests in the state hiring process. State law already prohibits hiring or promoting a relative, article says, though waivers are clearly allowed or the law doesn't cover the University of Arkansas, where Petrino's brother has a $475,000 job.

This goes nowhere. You can't legislate again every personal abuse, particularly clandestine romantic relationships. Open relationships should present inherent brakes on abuse, though no always of course.

The article notes that the university already requires new employees to sign statements about potential conflicts of interest in their new jobs. Jessica Dorrell, Petrino's girlfriend before he hired her as a football assistant for $55,700, presumably filed one. I've had an FOI pending for days to say it. Her failure to disclose a relationship with Petrino could have something to do with her being placed on leave in the aftermath of recent disclosures.

ANSWER FOR READER: I don't know how law squares with legislative wives and girlfriends who have been put on state payroll over the years. Perhaps they've mostly been contract labor for legislative sessions.

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