Ex-worker Questions Firing by State Treasurer

October 17, 2003  -- Posted at 8:52 AM CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR --State Treasurer Gus Wingfield's former chief operating officer wants to know why she was fired from a higher-paying position after Wingfield moved his daughter into her old job.

Wingfield was not available to give an answer yesterday because he was returning from a conference.

Chief Deputy Bruce Gartman said Sherri Darby may not have had enough to do after Wingfield moved her from chief operating officer to chief investment officer July 1 and raised her salary from $71,386 to $73,142 a year.

Wingfield promoted one of his daughters, Valerie Wallace, from investment accounting manager to take Darby's place. Wallace got a raise from $55,995 to $73,143 a year.

Gartman said Thursday that Darby lost her job in a reorganization that Wingfield ordered when he took office in January.

He said everyone was put on six months' probation at the time.

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