PHOENIX - A staffer serving under Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs during her time in the Senate says her firing was unfair and she was a victim of discrimination, and on Nov. 19, the staffer spoke out against the Secretary of State, saying Hobbs has refused to acknowledge the truth, and damaged her reputation.
Two juries have already agreed that Talonya Adams' firing from her role as an advisor to the State Senate in 2015 was retaliatory and based on discrimination, after she complained her pay was less than her white male colleagues and requested a raise.
"I was fired over the telephone or at least informed in February 2015," said Adams, who served under Hobbs at the time of her firing. Hobbs is currently running for the governor spot.
The Arizona State Senate, as a whole, was named in the lawsuits, but Adams and other testimony has named Hobbs as essentially the decider in the matter. Adams said she is speaking out now to take back her reputation.
"Because it hurts. It hurts. It invites further attack, and you’re already diminished. You’re already wounded. The blows have already been taken, and the continuation of it. I think it speaks to her motivations," said Adams.
To Adams, those motivations include Hobbs refusing to acknowledge the results of the jury trials. Hobbs sent a letter to supporters of her gubernatorial campaign this week, saying she takes responsibility for her role in Adams' firing, but maintains it was not based on gender or race. For Adams, her thoughts on Hobbs and her political future are clear.
"I think the best thing she can do is withdraw her candidacy. and the state would be best served if she resigned from the role she’s currently in," said Adams.
We reached out to the Secretary of State’s office and Hobbs' gubernatorial campaign, but Hobbs declined an interview. Her letter to supporters also asked them to judge her on her entire record.
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