Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Marcus Devine tapped to lead Youth Services

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 3:42 PM

click to enlarge EXPERIENCED: Marcus Devine.
  • EXPERIENCED: Marcus Devine.
Marcus Devine, who's served previously as a deputy director of the Department of Human Services, has been named director of the Division of Youth Services.

DHS Director John Selig said Devine was uniquely qualified through management skills and knowledge of DHS and the legislative process.

You might recall that Youth Services' last director was Tracy Steele, who left amid damaging reports about the division's oversight of youth treatment in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It didn't keep Steele from snaring a Hutchinson administration job as the $100,000-plus head of the Health Services Permit Agency. Steele had endorsed Hutchinson, one of a handful of blacks who voted for the Republican governor.

Devine, who is also black, enjoyed his past state employment thanks to Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee. He was a regulatory liaison, then DHS deputy director and then director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

Selig didn't mention some other headlines from Devine's career in management and regulatory work.

He was blasted by Dr. Carl Johnson, a Huckabee political appointee himself, for how Devine landed the political plum of being minority concessionaire at the Little Rock National Airport despite his lack of qualifications. He noted Devine had tried to get work at the Highway Department but didn't have the proper credentials to qualify as a minority contractor.

After leaving ADEQ, he ran an oilfield waste disposal company — poorly at times. He got in trouble for dumping fracking sludge improperly. It wasn't the first time.

That still isn't all. There was the time he got a city contract for demolition work without passage first of an ordinance permitting him to do business — as a sitting Planning commissioner — with the city.

And there's still more. Such as this article that alleged, while a regulatory liaison for Huckabee, he participated in a pressure campaign to make Workers Compensation Commission decisions more business friendly.

Experienced? No doubt about it. Go to the Pulaski clerk's lookup page and plug his name into the court record search. 

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