Fired state director calls Ducey a 'lying, puffed up evil Barney Rubble'Posted: Updated:
Marquez makes no bones about that fact that he's angry. It is not about him being fired from his job at the Department of Weights and Measures. That is the governor's prerogative. It what is happening now. Marquez says the governor is lying about his termination and basically using him as a punch line.
According to Marquez, Ducey lied when he recently told a Republican gathering in Scottsdale that he fired Marquez to head off a planned crackdown on ride-sharing businesses like Uber and Lyft in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
"He's lying. He is absolutely lying," Marquez, a 28-year-veteran of the regulatory weights and Measures Department, said Friday.
Ducey's address to the 2015 RNC Spring Meeting in May is on video.
"The Super Bowl is going to be played here in Arizona in a few short weeks, and I'm going to run a sting on Uber and Lyft and shut 'em down," he said, referring Marquez's supposed plan and subsequent firing. "Well, I'm happy to tell you that director is now in the private sector."
That last sentence was met with laughter and applause.
Marquez acknowledges that as acting director of Weights and Measures, he did attempt to enforce Arizona law in regard to the new and emerging ride-sharing industry over the last couple of years.
He also said there were absolutely no plans to conduct a "sting" aimed at Uber or Lyft in the weeks preceding the Super Bowl.
"I, nor my inspectors, nor the Department of Weights and Measures ever had any intention of doing stings or shutting down Uber during the Super Bowl," Marquez adamantly said Friday.
Marquez said not only were there no plans to run a sting targeting Uber or Lyft, but the Department of Measures does not have the authority to shut down a business.
For his part, Ducey, since taking office, has signed legislation that basically exempts ride-sharing businesses from regulation. Just this week he helped celebrate the opening of a new Uber office in the Valley.
So, why is Marquez saying accusing Ducey of lying now, almost a month after the Republican Spring Meeting?
"I get calls," Marquez said. "At the Republic National Convention, right, this guy was out there puffed up like some evil Barney Rubble over there, telling people how he fired me because I was going to do this and that. Never happened."
Marquez said he believes his reputation has been damaged, but stopped short of saying whether he would pursue any legal action.
"He's making me the butt of his jokes," Marquez said. "He's lying."
We reached out to the governor's officer today and were told Ducey stands by his statements.