PLEA recently learned that Phoenix Police Commander Paula Veach was appointed to what has been described as a PUBLIC seat on the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST). This occurred within a week of Commander Veach coming under fire for allegations of EEO related misconduct in the workplace, being assigned to home, and being placed under formal investigation by the City. PLEA has recently learned that Commander Veach has been returned to work but was not allowed to return to her former position as the Commander over the Professional Standards Bureau in charge of investigating employee misconduct. She has been placed in the position of night time Duty Commander AKA Car-4. For the uninitiated, this the position frequently used by police management when Commanders need to be put in “Time Out.”
Knowing this, it is of great concern to PLEA as to why the Governors Office of Boards and Commissions that oversees appointments to statewide boards to include AZPOST would see fit to appoint any police Commander, let alone one under investigation for alleged misconduct, to a slot reserved for a member of the PUBLIC on the AZPOST Board.
Numerous questions are raised:
- Why is an active police Commander allowed to be appointed to a slot reserved for a member of the public?
- Why is any police official under investigation for misconduct allowed to sit on a board that is in charge of reviewing employee misconduct?
- Isn’t allowing active police managers to occupy a seat designated for a member of the public a form of stacking the deck?
- Is this an end run maneuver that conveniently denies citizen input?
- Who recommended Commander Veach?
- Who vetted Commander Veach?
- When it became known she was under investigation, why wasn’t she removed from the board?
- Should any police official accused of misconduct or EEO violations be allowed to sit on a state board to sit in judgement of others accused of misconduct?
- If a police official was improperly appointed to a public position wouldn’t the appropriate action be to voluntarily step away?
This is not just a Phoenix issue. It raises serious concern on a statewide level as AZPOST is a statewide governing body. The Executive director of the Arizona Police Association sent an e-mail communication this morning to express serious concerns to Laddie Shane who currently serves as the Director of Boards and Commissions for the State of Arizona.
CLICK HERE to read the e-mail