In 'green' job, state to replace Weekly


State officials confirmed Friday that they will replace Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly who quit a part-time "green initiatives" job to dispel concerns of conflicting interests.

The community outreach job for Southern Nevada as well as a similar job in Reno will be filled as soon as possible, and will pay the same wage as Weekly received, said Mae Worthey, spokeswoman for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Using federal dollars, the agency had earmarked up to $120,000 to cover the labor costs of the two part-time jobs for a year. The work involved meeting with residents and instructing them about how they might weatherize their homes.

Accusations that Weekly's job was created impromptu as a political favor to him are untrue, Worthey said, noting that both jobs had been planned for 18 months.

"This is something we've been working on for a long time," Worthey said.

Worthey also dismissed speculation that Weekly was hired through the Manpower temporary staffing agency to cloak his employment with the state.

"There's no way to keep this off the radar using a temporary agency," Worthey said. "A temporary agency was a way to do this expediently."

Tom Haynie, who oversees Manpower's Las Vegas office, said the state hired Manpower to handle payroll for Weekly.

That included cutting checks and paying taxes, worker's compensation, Social Security and other deductions for Weekly, Haynie said.

He said state officials misspoke earlier this week when they suggested that Manpower got paid $12,000 up front for a $60,000 year-long contract.

There was never an annual contract, Haynie said, adding that the job was set up to run day to day.

Manpower agreed to take $58 an hour to cover Weekly's $48 per hour salary plus all the deductions, Haynie said, estimating that the agency's take was about $3 an hour.

In truth, Weekly was grossing about $55 an hour if you count the additional money used to pay his deductions, Haynie said.

If Weekly worked 1,000 hours in a year -- or a little less than 20 hours a week -- he would have earned $55,000 and Manpower would have gotten $3,000, Haynie said.

Weekly worked a total of 32 hours and grossed $1,866, Haynie said. The state reimbursed Manpower for those hours, and that's it, he said.

The outreach job pays well because it requires administrative skills and strong ties with neighborhoods to foster the weatherization program, Worthey said.

Larry Mosley, the employment department's director, has said it was less important to hire a green-energy expert than a leader who has a record of working with business leaders and jobless blacks in West Las Vegas.

Weekly, who was looking for a part-time job, seemed a good fit, Worthey said. But the very thing that made him an asset in this role -- being a county commissioner -- made some people concerned about him working for the state, she said.

"He's someone who has a lot of name recognition," Worthey said.

Contact reporter Scott Wyland at swyland@reviewjournal.com or 702-455-4519.

 

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