- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - The state parks director was suspended for two weeks without pay last year after he hired his three sons for seasonal jobs in violation of an anti-nepotism law.

Kathy Peckardt, Gov. Jan Brewer’s deputy chief of staff, told Arizona State Parks Director Bryan Martyn in a July 19 disciplinary letter that his behavior was “inappropriate and unacceptable, and does not conform to the standards of conduct as the director of an agency.”

The two-week suspension cost Martyn $5,229.80 in gross earnings, The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/1fEZnkd ) reported.

Martyn’s sons were hired at the same time that the agency increased the starting pay for the temporary workers, to $12 an hour from $10.52, but department officials told state investigators that the increase had been in the works for some time.

A State Parks employee complained about Martyn’s sons being hired, and the sons were employed only a matter of weeks before they were terminated at the order of the state Department of Administration.

Martyn, a former Pinal County supervisor who was hired as parks director nearly two years ago, said he didn’t know that hiring a family member violated state law.

“If at any time I thought this would compromise the agency’s integrity, or my integrity, I would’ve never pursued this,” Martyn said. “It’s not worth it for a summer job.”

Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said Martyn and his advisers “should have known better.”

DiAnne Baune, a state human resources official who had advised Martyn on personnel matters, resigned in the wake of the investigation and then retired.

Baune declined to comment in detail about the investigation but said she acted in the best interest of the state.

“I feel that I followed the rules to the best of my knowledge,” she said.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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