Jack Hegarty Out as Highway Patrol Chief for Arizona Department of Public Safety; Employee Morale a Factor in Decision

Categories: Cop Gossip
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Lieutenant Colonel Jack Hegarty (left) of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, has been replaced as Highway Patrol Chief following complaints about his perceived affect on employee morale.

Lieutenant Colonel Jack Hegarty has been replaced as Highway Patrol chief for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, in part due to concerns about his perceived effect on employee morale.

The new boss of the DPS' Highway Patrol division is Major James McGuffin, says DPS spokesman Bart Graves.

Hegarty, as we reported a few weeks ago, was the prime target of employee ire in a survey conducted earlier this year by the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police. Many employees reported in the survey that they were considering leaving the organization and would not recommend it to potential recruits.

And Hegarty, for reasons that still aren't all that clear to New Times, took much of the blame.

We've heard criticisms of Hegarty's allegedly caustic personality, but nothing too specific. This appears to be an insiders' dispute, primarily. However, John Ortolano, president of the state FOP, said he believed the morale issue could possibly affect public safety.

In any case,  DPS Director Robert Halliday responded to the survey by putting together a committee to make recommendations based on the findings. The committee concluded that morale could be improved if Hegarty was removed from his current position. Halliday then asked highway patrol officers to take another survey about Hegarty. In its questions, the new survey contained plenty of positive information about Hegarty's accomplishments.

For sure, this was a tough decision by Halliday. Hegarty wasn't just the highway patrol boss -- he was the director's right-hand man. In Halliday's survey, the director notes that replacing Hegarty would be a very "significant change" to the executive staff.

Hegarty remains with DPS, but Graves declined comment when asked about the lieutenant colonel's new assignment.

Graves emphasized the distinction that Hegarty's removal as highway patrol chief "has nothing to do with the (FOP) survey."

Rather, Graves adds, it had to do with the underlying issue -- morale of the highway patrol officers

Halliday felt that the agency couldn't "be what we want to be with this issue in Highway Patrol," Graves explains.

Division chiefs work at the whim of the director, so the choice was all Halliday's.

Presumably, DPS will soon return to being one big, happy family again.


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9 comments
Unhappy officer
Unhappy officer

Hegarty and Halliday are one in the same.  This department is suffering as a result of the continued corruption of these two douche bags. Hagarty has ruined careers to many fine officers trying to climb his way to the top and attempting to make himself look better.  Halliday on the other hand is nothing more than an angry dwarf, little man’s syndrome at its best. He has also has ruined the careers of officers for his personal gain. Neither one know how to separate his personal life from their professional ones. How many times did the police show up at Hallidays residence for domestic violence; should be none for a person in his position. I can’t wait to see what an ethics investigation of these two would turn up.

Juandice37
Juandice37

Take the corrupt cops with you bozo

Been there done that
Been there done that

Halliday is as much a problem as Hegarty was. Halliday needs to go because he has no clue what's going on at the level of the officers and civilians under his control and allows inferior executives to do his dirty work. There needs to be changes that help the department man the freeways and highways of the state effectively. It seem that Asst Director Young might be a good fit being that he "is of and for the Officers". THe department is short between 300 and 400 employees according to statements made by Halliday at meetings with employees. Is the Legislature and Governor listening, or there other politically correct places to spend the taxpayers money?

F22fixer
F22fixer

I'm waiting for the ethics investigation on Hegarty when his cozy relationship with the trucking industry begins to come to light... Shit, why not start it now: guess who owns the season ticket seats he and his buddy are sitting in? I'll take a certain trucking association for the win.  And guess what his new assingment is? Yep, back to commercial vehilce enforcement.  Conflict of interest? Not in this adminstrations world. 

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

"concerns about his perceived affect on employee morale"

Affect or Effect?

Ray Stern
Ray Stern

Ouch. You caught me in weak moment. Thanks for keeping me on my toes. 

savatage
savatage

I'm feeling the same way. Watching hours of testimony on those goobers in the bar hearings will do that to you!

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Does this remind us of a local sheriff? Blame everyone else and then throw them under the bus to save his very own ass. First the MCSO shurf will go away and be replaced. Then Mr. Halliday is next. The guy who got involved in an investigation of domestic violence involving his daughter and a DPS pilot. Never, ever get involved in an investigation involving family or friends, as a cop. But, he is DPS, after all and our uneducated governor chose him.

Ross
Ross

State employee morale would certainly improve if Brewer resigned.

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