County Assistant Resigns— Cites ‘Stress & Unofficial’ Work

Highstreet was assigned personal tasks by Pinal County official and
his wife — “not county business”

Lora Highstreet, assistant
to Pinal County Supervisor
Todd House, resigned last
month citing stress and too
much time attending to “unofficial”
tasks that House and
his wife assigned to her.
In an email to House announcing
her resignation,
Highstreet said what began
as her helping with a personal
matter grew into her
being treated “as a personal
assistant for you and Tuni
(House’s wife) working on
things [that] are not official
county business.”
Tuni House runs Paws 4 Life,
a non-profit organization that
trains service dogs and handlers—Todd
House serves as
treasurer for the organization.
In her resignation, Highstreet
also refers to duties assigned
to her to do on county time
such as assisting with Paws 4
Life business as well as planning
vacations and making
doctor appointments for the
Houses.
Following is a transcript of
the email:
From: Lora Highstreet
To: Todd House
Sent: Saturday, August 22,
2015 6:04 PM
Subject: Resignation
Todd,
At this time I feel that it
is best if we part ways.
There has been too much
over the last few weeks
that have convinced me
I’m doing the right thing.
Since I started working for
you things have escalated
from helping on a personal
matter to being a personal
assistant for you and Tuni
working on things that are
not official county business.
I don’t understand
what you guys did to plan
vacations or doctor appointments
before I started.
I don’t feel that downloading
Paws pics and sending
email and invitations are
county business. There are
several reasons for my resignation
that I will prepare
in a resignation letter. The
stress and unhappiness is
actually making me sick.
Please do not call or show
up at my house this I would
like some quiet time to try
and get healthier.
Lora
Supervisor Todd House
Highstreet began working as
executive assistant for House
after his election to Pinal
County Supervisor, District 5
in November 2012. In February
2014, Highstreet was one
of three Board of Supervisors
executive assistants to receive
a job reclassification to Assistant
to the Board of Supervisor,
Grade 129 and a pay raise.
At a time when the Board of
Supervisors (BOS) faced a $9
million deficit and only OK’d
2.5% merit increases for other
County employees, House
had Highstreet’s position reclassified,
circumventing the
county’s human resources
department recommendation.
Her salary was bumped
28%—from $46,985 per year
to $57,242.
At the February 5, 2014,
BOS meeting, House defended
the reclassification for
Highstreet saying that the five
districts have very different
needs and require a different
skill set from their assistants.
Supervisors Steve Miller of
Casa Grande and Pete Rios of
Dudleyville strongly opposed
the move and voted against
the pay increases.
When reached for comment,
Supervisor House said
“I can’t really comment on
an employer/employee relationship.
All I can say is that
she resigned, she was a good
worker.”
There is currently no indication
from the Board of Supervisors
regarding an official
inquiry into the circumstances
of Highstreet’s resignation.

Source:  Apache Junction News ( AJNEWS.COM )

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