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Jan Lesher replaces Huckelberry as Pima Co. Administrator

Huckelberry resigns after 28 years
Posted at 7:33 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 22:33:03-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A major change in Pima County government has just become official. After 28 years serving as Pima County Administrator, Chuck Huckelberry is officially and formally retired and Pima County Supervisors have chosen his successor.

Supervisors set the policies but for close to 30 years Supervisors came and went, while Chuck Huckelberry remained, actually running County government day to day.

But six months ago a serious bike accident left him so badly injured that just a few days ago he conceded it was better to concentrate on recovery and leave running the county to someone else.

Supervisor Rex Scott said few people in Arizona’s history did more to make their region better.

“He's a hometown boy," Scott said. "And he has made his hometown a better place to live, work and raise a family through decades of selfless service on behalf of the people of this county. And we all go in the tremendous debt of gratitude. “

Supervisors did not comment on news that broke Monday that Huckelberry officially retired in July, collected a pension and continued to work for the county, technically as a consultant. The Tucson Sentinel broke the story but KGUN9 independently confirmed the timing of Huckelberry’s official retirement. The arrangement is legal under state retirement rules. Pima County participates in the state retirement system.

Board chair Sharon Bronson told KGUN9 she knew Huckelberry might use the arrangement but didn’t know he actually had.

Supervisor Steve Christy was often a no vote against issues Huckelberry wanted Supervisors to approve.

“It’s well known Mister Huckelberry and I had numerous and profound differences over policies over the last five years but one thing I must point out, I never had to knock on his door because it was always open to me,” Christy said.

Christy wanted to search for Huckelberry’s successor on a county, regional and possibly national level but by a four to one vote, Supervisors chose Jan Lesher as the new administrator. She served as acting administrator after Huckelberry’s accident. Before she joined the County Administration she served as Chief of Staff for Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano.

Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.