Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition

Tamarac county aide steps down from job

- By Lisa J. Huriash

Tamarac’s vice mayor on Thursday resigned from his $80,000a-year job working as a county commission­er’s aide after the South Florida Sun Sentinel raised questions about how he was hired — and the county realized the job opening wasn’t publicly advertised.

Vice Mayor Marlon Bolton, who got a full-time county job weeks ago, was hired without any competitio­n since there was no job posting so that the public would know it was available and could apply, officials confirmed.

He was hired on Jan. 30 to be the aide to County Commission­er Hazelle Rogers, who was sworn into office in November. His county salary for the full-time work was $80,000, officials said.

After the Sun Sentinel made a public records request Wednesday for the job posting and the number of applicants, county officials said the job had not been advertised.

The position was then posted Wednesday. The job listing on the county website lists the salary as “depends on qualificat­ions.” Perks include life insurance and pension benefits.

Bolton said he voluntaril­y resigned from the county position Thursday.

“I was told there have been some inaccuraci­es, the process may have been flawed,” he said. “If the job is reposted ... I will consider reapplying but I understand the commission­er has always had other people in mind. I was blessed to have been selected from the pool of people she considered.”

A County Commission aide does multiple tasks such as handling social media, writing newsletter­s, taking constituen­ts’ phone calls and emails, and working with county staff to get voters’ issues resolved.

Florida law addressing “dual public employment,” allows elected officials to have government jobs at

the same time — but there are rules attached. The state law requires that an elected official has been subject to the same applicatio­n and hiring process as other candidates, and that “the position was publicly advertised.”

County Attorney Andrew Meyers said, “Commission­er Rogers properly vetted this issue in advance, including directly with me. I advised that there is no legal prohibitio­n on a municipal elected official being hired as a County employee. While that answer is accurate, it did not completely address the issue,” he said. Inadverten­tly, “the process overlooked a requiremen­t that the position be publicly posted before a hiring decision is made. Steps are being taken to promptly address the situation, and the position will be filled consistent with the required process.”

Rogers could not be reached by comment Thursday by cellphone or her County Commission office.

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