After nearly three months on the job, Mohave County’s communications director has called it quits.
Freelance journalist Dave Hawkins was hired as the county’s spokesman in October, edging out three other finalists when he was hired to the position. With a salary of more than $80,000, Hawkins was tasked with planning public information and relations strategies, coordinating county social media efforts, advising elected officials and department heads and preparing talking points for elected officials in support of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors’ positions. Hawkins officially resigned from his position Jan. 2.
“During my 10 weeks on the job I learned that I am not comfortable in the bureaucracy that comes with government employment,” Hawkins said in a statement Friday to Today’s News-Herald. “My gift through this experience is understanding that reporting is my passion and my calling, and I am very content and happy to return to journalistic pursuits in northwest Arizona.”
According to Mohave County Manager Mike Hendrix, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors will need to schedule a future discussion on the role of communications director, and who in the future may be hired to fill it. No such discussion was planned as of Monday afternoon.
Hawkins was the county’s first official spokesman in almost a decade, following the departure of Darryle Purcell. Purcell, a one-time editor for the Mohave Valley Daily News, was accused of using his position to publically disparage local and state politicians through columns and political cartoons submitted to local news publications. Purcell was asked to resign from his position in 2012.