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Pima Supervisors probe Huckelberry retirement

He retired, collected pension, kept working
Huckelberry official portrait.jpeg
Posted at 6:36 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 21:36:02-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Longtime Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry retired after a serious bike accident.

But just before Pima Supervisors were about to accept his resignation they were surprised to learn he had officially retired back in July and was collecting pay from the county along with his pension from the state retirement system.

It was legal when Huckelberry continued to work as a contractor but the five elected county supervisors were officially Huckelberry’s bosses. It upset them that they didn’t find out until a reporter for the Tucson Sentinel told them.

District One Supervisor Rex Scott said, “And it certainly is jarring to hear the news that Mr. Huckleberry had applied for his retirement benefits in July from a member of the media. I don't think any of us were prepared for that. Nor did we appreciate it. But the one person that we would like to ask about that situation, is not here. And we're not able to ask him about it.”

In Tuesday’s meeting, Supervisor Steve Christy set out to learn how it all happened, and Supervisor Matt Heinz worked to make sure it could never happen again.

New County Administrator Jan Lesher told the supervisors Huckelberry made his arrangements with the state retirement system and the County’s payroll department—-and told them to keep quiet.

Lesher: “And as such personal financial information. There was not a desire for it to be widely known….

Christy: “Because…..”

Lesher: “It was his personal financial information.”

Lesher said she will let Supervisors know if she ever invokes an arrangement like Huckelberry used.