Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in damage control over discrimination ruling

Katie Hobbs, who's running for Arizona Governor, is taking full responsibility for the firing...
Katie Hobbs, who's running for Arizona Governor, is taking full responsibility for the firing of Talonya Adams in 2015, who recently won her $2.75 million lawsuit.(AZ Family)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 9:10 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, is sending a letter to her supporters in an effort to quiet the controversy surrounding her role in the 2015 firing of a Black Senate worker who was terminated after complaining that she earned less money than her co-workers. Last week, a federal jury awarded Talonya Adams $2.75 million in damages, saying there was clear evidence of discrimination and retaliation.

“I take responsibility for my role in the decision to terminate Ms. Adams, and I stand by what I’ve consistently said, that this decision on my part was not based on gender or race,” Hobbs said in a letter to “hundreds” of her supporters.

Hobbs, who was the top-ranking Democrat in the Senate when Adams was fired, had tried to blame Republican leaders, who controlled the chamber, for making the decision. Since the court’s decision, prominent Black leaders have asked voters to reconsider their support of Hobbs, but at least one of them says this letter changes nothing.

“I think she has issues with Black people. I think she has issues specifically with Black women,” said Cloves Campbell, the publisher of the state’s only Black-owned and operated newspaper, the Arizona Informant. Campbell, also a former state lawmaker, was one of six high-profile Black leaders to sign a letter asking voters to rethink their support of Hobbs.

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