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Hiring of top legislator's nephew raises questions

January 12, 2000
By: Francie Krantz
State Capital Bureau

A spokesman for the state Republican committee says we may never know the full story of how a top legislator's nephew got a job at the state ethics committee. Francie Krantz has the story from Jefferson City.

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Daryl Duwe, a spokesman for the state Republican party, says the ethics commission's recent hiring of Senate Majority Leader Ronnie DePasco's nephew, Brian Hess, raises certain questions.

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Contents: Duwe says the question is if there was any undue influence, but we probably will never know. We'll have to see if he can do the job because no one has been able to so far.

Duwe said it would probably be impossible to launch a fair investigation of Hess's appointment due to the current political makeup of the legislature.

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Contents: Duwe says because it would be a bunch of democrats investigating a bunch of democrats, he doesn't think they would come up with anything useful.

Hess begins his new job January 24. From the state capitol, I'm Francie Krantz.


The state ethics commission has hired a relative of one of the state's top legislators to run the commission's computer system. Francie Krantz has that story from Jefferson City.

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At least one official who helped hire Brian Hess as the new computer systems manager says he was aware that Senate Majority Leader Ronnie DePasco was Hess's uncle before making his recommendation.

But Don Byrd, director of Senate data systems, says it was Hess's credentials, not his family background, that played a role in Byrd's recommendation.

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Contents: Byrd says they needed someone who could come there and do the work and Hess gives the indication he can do that.

Hess will start his job January 24.

From the state capitol, I'm Francie Krantz.


The top Senate majority leader is refusing to comment on the hiring of his nephew by the state ethics commission. Francie Krantz has the story from Jefferson City.

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Senate Majority Leader Ronnie DePasco refused to comment about the state ethics commission's decision to hire his nephew, Brian Hess, as the new computer systems manager.

Meanwhile, at least one official who helped recommend Hess to the position said he was aware that DePasco was Hess's uncle. But Senate Data Systems Director Don Byrd said DePasco played no role whatsoever in the decision.

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Contents: Byrd says he has never talked to DePasco about anything.

Hess will begin his new job on January 24. From the state capitol, I'm Francie Krantz.