The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported this morning
that Marcus Devine,
who abruptly departed his job as leader of the state Youth Services Division
, had just been slapped with tax liens claiming $72,000 owed in unpaid state income taxes and accumulated charges. Coincidence of timing? Who knows?
Anybody surprised to find Marcus Devine in court for a debt didn't run his name through the state court record system before hiring
. (Simply plug his name in blanks supplied for person search on the court records page.) You'll find years of legal action on tax liens, debt collection, speeding tickets, child support arrearages and the like.
Financial binds are one thing. Management is another. As we reported when Devine landed this particular state job
— the latest in a series — we cited past business dealings that might give pause to a potential government employer. (We also suggested then that a court records search would be illuminating.) The notable resume item in our recitation of past endeavors was leadership of the state Department of Environmental Quality
for Mike Huckabee. He rolled out of that job into private business heading an oilfield waste disposal company soon in trouble with the state for dumping fracking sludge improperly. The former head of ADEQ, remember.
All this inevitably raises questions about the judgment of the person responsible for Devine's most recent state job — Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
I will say this in Devine's defense and it's more relevant to Youth Services than tax liens: He was shading in the right direction when he got called down by a judge
for speaking up in favor of reducing the number of non-felony juvenile offenders put in juvenile jails.