Ariz. Veterans Services chief out after disobeying Gov. Brewer


by Dennis Welch | 3TV Political Editor

Bio | Email | Follow: @Dennis_Welch

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 5 at 1:23 PM

PHOENIX -- The head of the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services Department is out of a job today after Gov. Jan Brewer learned he disobeyed her "direct order."

The director of the Arizona Department of Veteran's Services quit late Tuesday, about 48 hours after the governor found out he hired someone he shouldn’t have.

Matthew Benson, a spokesman for Brewer, said Joey Strickland hired former state lawmaker Terri Proud even though the governor told him not to about a year ago.

Benson said the governor first learned of the hire after reading a newspaper article posted Tuesday on-line.

Benson wouldn't say why the governor opposed Proud's hire. But the spokesman did have this to say: "Colonel Strickland should know what it means to disobey a direct order."

Calls to the Veterans’ Services Department were not immediately returned. Strickland was appointed to the position in 2008 by then Gov. Janet Napolitano. 

According to an article in the Arizona Daily Star, Proud was recently hired to coordinate services for female veterans at a salary of roughly $40,000 a year.
In the story, Proud questioned whether women belong in combat because of their menstrual cycles.

According to the paper, Proud said, "women have certain things during the month I'm not sure they should be dealing with. I don't know how to address that topic in an very diplomatic manner."

Benson characterized the statement on women in combat roles as, "ill chosen remarks."

Proud served in the House from 2011 until 2013. She has also been fired from her job at Veterans' Services.

Deputy Director Robert Barnes will serve at the interim director of veterans’ services until someone is appointed, according to Benson.