Arizona to rehire 40 fired Department of Economic Security employees

Posted at 1:46 PM, Dec 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-24 00:24:09-05

The State of Arizona is offering to rehire Department of Economic Security employees who were fired by former Director Tim Jeffries.

On Friday, the Arizona Department of Administration announced they have finalized decisions regarding employees who were "improperly separated" from their positions. 

ADOA said they received 267 emails requesting a review of their cases. 

Of the 267 cases, the state is offering to rehire 40 employees. The 40 employees will be contacted before the new year with an offer to be rehired into their previous position.

Jeffries said that he was forced to resign in November after being on the job less than two years.

Additionally, five other DES employees — who were close to Jeffries — also lost their jobs in November. Some of the people let go included DES's chief accountability officer, chief of staff and chief human resources officer.

ABC15 spoke to a pregnant woman who was fired from the department and is now on welfare. 

Sarah Coelho's job was to help other people sign up for welfare. She said she did nothing wrong to get fired. 

"I was 27 weeks pregnant, and I lost my insurance three days later," she said. "I had to pay out-of-pocket for all of my prescriptions and my doctor visits for the next month."

She said she didn't get a reason for getting fired. 

"Just that my services were no longer needed," she said.

It is unclear at this time if Coelho is one of the 40 employees who will be offered the option to be reinstated.

Henry Darwin, the governor's chief operating officer, has taken over as interim DES director.

A spokesperson for Gov. Ducey released the following statement on Friday afternoon: "While their review is complete, and a number of individuals will receive a rehire offer, our work continues. We are committed to working with the Department of Administration to continuously improve the human resources practices throughout state government."