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Cherry Picking Seems Possible

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There are more questions about how a person now employed as an interpreter for the deaf community got that state job.

The director of a state agency has been asked to appear before a legislative committee next week to answer questions about her employment.

We used the Freedom of Information act to obtain a collection of emails related to this hire. 

Our focus was immediately drawn to two of those emails.

Our interest started last month after we heard from trained, certified deaf interpreters who are concerned about a recent interpreter hire made by Arkansas Rehabilitation Services. 

Those passed over for the position claim the person picked is not qualified to do the job.   

Through the Freedom of Information Act we have learned that the chosen candidate may not have even applied for the job...or if she did it was past the deadline. 

In late November David McDonald...one of the two people who would interview candidates for the interpreter position...emailed Carl Daughtery...his supervisor.

"I want you to know that the interpreter position in Little Rock has been advertised.  The position closes on December 5th."

The next email between the two...dated December 14th, or nine days after job applications for the interpreter position were due...reads like this:  "Carl, I have received the interview packet for the interpreter position at Corporate Hill.  (The candidate in question) did not apply and I checked with HR (Human Resources) to see if she had been left off - she had not.  I need to discuss how to proceed."

If that discussion took place there is no evidence of it in the emails we requested.

On December 16th (11 days after the position closed) the candidate's resume was sent by Human Resources to David McDonald.

State Representative Bryan King heads the legislature's Personnel Committee.

Because of our reporting on this issue King has asked State Workforce Director Bill Walker to appear before his committee next week and answer questions about this hire.

We have not been able to determine as of news time if Mr. Walker plans to accept that invitation.    

Air date:  July 10th, 2012