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Nov 11, 2011 12:39 AM by Carolyn Carver

Tax-payers on the hook for what judge calls City Managers 'nepotism'

Nepotism, pre-selection and favoritism, words a Pueblo Judge uses to describe actions by the City Manager, Jerry Pacheco.

Pueblo District Court Judge Victor Reyes ruled against the City and City Manager and re-appointed Pueblo's Traffic Signs and Marking Specialist position after what he calls an '"arbitrary," "capricious" and illegal promotion by Jerry Pacheco.

This after long-time employee, James Matuzak, claimed he was passed over for the promotion in favor of Darrek Sample, who at the time was married to a member of Pacheco's immediate staff, his administrative assistant.

But before that, the Judge says Pacheco and his administration changed the rules and qualifications of the job so Sample could qualify. And on top of that, the Judge says, the Civil Service Commission went along with Pacheco's "inappropriate" selection and "abused their discretion" by doing so.

Then, he says the Commission violated Matuzak's due process rights by denying his right to a fair trial when he wanted to question Pacheco's appointment.

The Judge has now re-appointed James Matuzak for the job, what he calls the right choice all along. He also ordered that tax-payers will now be on the hook for his back pay from April 2010 when the promotion was announced, plus all of the court costs associated with trial.

As for the city, they say they intend to appeal.

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