Following reports that a Beaufort County department head's daughter and her fiancè had been hired as summer interns, Beaufort County administrator Gary Kubic says he has stepped in to prevent them from working for the county.
The move is supposed to help Kubic squash any inkling of impropriety in the county's hiring process and to avoid accusations of nepotism, he said Tuesday.
"I made a decision based on talking with all the parties involved, that I didn't like the (two interns' hiring) process, that I wasn't notified about their sensitive nature," Kubic said. "It's a sad affair, but it has to be done."
One of the interns is the daughter of county mapping and geographical services director Dan Morgan, and the other is his daughter's fiancè, Kubic and deputy county administrator Josh Gruber confirmed.
Both are students at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and were hired to work for the county's risk-management, finance, engineering and information-systems departments this spring, Gruber said.
Morgan's daughter applied to a paid summer internship job posting for the risk-management and finance departments on the county's website earlier this spring, Gruber said. She completed the same internship last summer and was ultimately picked among 13 applicants for the job because of her prior experience, Kubic said.
Her fiancè was hired for a paid internship with the engineering and information-systems departments that was not advertised, Kubic and Gruber said. The county is not required to publish such job postings, according to Gruber.
Both hires were ultimately approved by each department's leader, per county hiring rules, Kubic said. Because of the "sensitive nature" of their connections to Morgan, though, Kubic said he wished the hires had come before him first.
Kubic said he was first notified of the issue last week, and he asked a staff member to review the hiring process. Kubic was briefed on the process Monday morning, and "I told the staff that I needed 24 hours to sleep on the decision," he said.
The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette inquired with the county about the matter Monday afternoon.
On Tuesday morning, Kubic said, he finalized his decision to terminate the internships.
"I've been working 11 years to try to get a (hiring) system in place that's based on consistency," Kubic said. "The point I'm trying to make to my folks here is I've come a long way in this organization, and the little things will get you, so don't jeopardize it."
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