Kathy Field out as Public Defender

UPDATE 3pm: Added details about supervision of the Public Defender role.

Kathy Field was dismissed Monday as La Paz County’s Public Defender after the Board of Supervisors emerged from an executive session on the topic of her employment.

In a 2-1 decision, with dissent from Supervisor Holly Irwin, the majority of the Board voted to let Field go from the office she was appointed to a few years ago. No public reasons were given, with Minor telling Parker Live afterward that board members must be careful not to reveal details from executive sessions.

Irwin said publicly that she disagreed with the decision, saying, “I’m not sure why this is happening this way,” since most personnel decisions are made by the County Administrator. “I’m sure just to put it all out there, I guess.”

She called Field’s performance in the job “outstanding” and said she felt the decision was “just going after somebody”.

Field is the wife of former County Administrator Dan Field, who was terminated on December 19th after his job performance had become a topic of the 2016 election. Supervisor Duce Minor promised to dismiss Field if elected, joining DL Wilson who had attempted to do so in 2015, citing the financial state of the County as part of Field’s legacy as Administrator.

Because of a potential conflict of interest, supervision of the Public Defender was changed to the Board of Supervisors so that it would not fall to Field’s husband Dan when he was County Administrator, which may be the reason it was a Board action Monday.

Reports to Parker Live suggest that there is a growing movement in favor of disbanding the Public Defender’s Office, opting instead for contracting with individual attorneys and cutting the costs associated with a permanent office and administration. Multiple people have referenced such an idea as a cost-saving measure for a county in crisis, with the potential to save six figures in expenditure. But it would rely on the availability of local counsel, with savings decreasing when the County has to go outside La Paz County for attorneys.

Field’s health benefits will continue until June 30th “if allowed by law”, and her duties will be temporarily assigned to Arthur Higgs, her deputy.


In other personnel-related County news, the Board has voted unanimously to extend an offer of employment to a permanent County Administrator who, if accepted, would be starting on the job in approximately one month. Robert Sivick has experience managing cities and counties, and is an attorney by background. To bridge the gap, the contract with the firm that provided Robert Smith as Interim County Administrator was extended for another 30 days.


  1. Randy Hartless

    Karma’s a… well, you know.

  2. Fonzi Wayne

    People are losing their jobs.
    I guess I can agree to an extent why she was let go.
    Bringing in attorneys to do the job that of an entire staff for a discounted fee.
    I believe if you get in trouble, you should provide your OWN Lawyer, not on the tax payers dime.

  3. Katie Turnbow

    I didn’t see this one coming.

  4. Robin Schilling

    Sad times for the county

  5. the county [and many other places] spend very”large amounts of money to get all of the “hay man i did’t do nothin’ criminals, who are really just victims of our present full of evcuses society, and have had deprived childhoods, attention deficate, off of there meds, ect. ect. it costs a lot more money and resources to prosecute a crimal case than it does to defend it. i remenber when i grew up you tried not to get in trouble, because if you were dumb enough to do as such it was up to you alone to get your own ass out of it. not like now when so many get their “free public defender”

  6. Gary Zakrajsek

    “I am not sure why this is happening this way,since most personnel decisions are made by the County Administrator,I’m sure to put it all all out there ,I guess.” Great quote Holly, as you should know how things were done in the past. Yes it was the
    County Administrator, Dan Field who created a job for your Husband 9 years ago to keep him employed with the county. Maybe this isn’t a great way to make personnel decisions.
    Hmmmmmm Gary Zak 2020

  7. Gary,

    Normally appointed officials are supervised by the County Administrator. Due to her husband being the County Administrator, when she was hired, her supervision was put under the Board of Supervisors. Specifically DL Wilson, if I remember the specific order correctly. That supervision was never formally assigned back to the Administrator after Dan Field was let go. It was proper for the Board to act to terminate her employment for that reason, and also due to her status as an “at-will” employee.

  8. Lona Neda Nopah

    How come there letting everyone go

  9. I still don’t understand why the board of supervisors aren’t taking a pay cut. Dont you think that if you cut some of your salary you can afford to keep some employees in other departments that need the help? For God’s sake, the fiduciary is now a department of one and you’re ok with that?

  10. Gary Zakrajsek

    Thank You Alan for your explanation,but I see it in a way we can make it simple. Dan wanted to give his wife job and got the supervisors to vote for it. From what I understand there were other applicants for the position that had equal or more experience. On top of that Kathy gets a raise and ends up making more than the County Attorney. All of this when Dan must of known the County was starting to slip financially. So again Dan gets what he wants with the Supervisors of the time including Holly Irwin in favor of this appointment. So many conflicts and ethical issues here. I praise Mr. Wilson and Mr Minor for starting to clean up all this mess!
    Gary Zak 2020

  11. This is the second time Holly Irwin has voted to not get the county in the black. Why did we vote her in again. Time to start a recall vote.

  12. Why pay the contract attorney another month.we need to save not spend. Make someome interm adminstrator. Its been done i the past. Aka mrs hale. Come on duce u flip flop

  13. Lona, are you asking how come they’re letting everyone go at the Public Defenders Office? or how come they’re letting go all the employees that have been let go so far?

    As far as letting go everyone from the Public Defenders Office, the county can contract out cheaper then what the county is paying for all services at that office. The companies they will contract out to have their own office staff where ever their offices may be located.

    As far as letting go so many county employees all together, the county is broke, the Jail alone is in the RED about $4 MILLION DOLLARS, the budgeting over the last 20 years has been poorly done. The BOARD OF SUPERVISORS that were all replaced 8 years ago left this county a mess with the help of Dan Field and that mess just keeps growing and growing. Sometimes employees are lucky if payroll is met. Keep your seat belts on because more are going to be let go very soon. But you may not see any elected official step up and say, hey, I’ll take a pay cut of 20K a year. And most of these elected officials have another source of income coming in which is higher then what they’re making here.

  14. Weldon Brent Johnson Jr.

    It’s called civil right.. Gets over it

  15. Cheryl, more than one elected official (and appointed department head) offered to take a pay cut and they weren’t allowed/that idea was rejected.

    It is a scary time for everyone that is at the county and most people are working even harder, trying to continue to get their jobs done correctly, in a timely manner. No one wants to see people lose their job, nor do they do a half-ass job. They are, in fact, doing more work.

  16. Thanks for the updates John & Kieth. We can still follow Parker even while we are traveling!

  17. Very sad times for our County.

  18. I know that my house in district 2 will be rented next election. I will make sure holly has my vote, so I guess I have to do what duce did…build a house in that district and move…so I can make sure to have votes that support her. Sorry Gary “zac” you support duce, you don’t support the people, just your own personal vendetta. How you can stand behind how they have voted have recently?? I know I have already made my decision for 2020, you most definitely are not it

  19. Gary Zakrajsek

    Renee, Political leaders who we vote for make tough decisions everyday especially dealing with how the previous administration left their house upon leaving office. The actions of our supervisors were not easy ones and actions they should of not had to make in the first place. These financial problems should of been dealt with by Dan Field and Board members as far back as 9 years ago when these issues started to appear with the Yakamia decision. As an employee at the time with the county I was not happy seeing the County throw money away on projects especially in the Parks Department when we the employees could not even get a raise. Many more management decisions which I opposed started to happen especially dealing with the General Fund and how we were shifting money away from our Enterprise Funds to pay our bills. Even more issues about management finally made me decide to run for Supervisor as my friends and neighbors in the area said they would support my effort. We all felt that Holly Irwin was not doing her job and had dropped the ball on many issues here in District 3. Ms Irwin recently remarked at a board meeting that she didn’t know how bad things were financially in the County. This is hard for me to believe since I knew and many of my fellow county employees were also aware of the financial situation. So yes I do support Duce and DL for their guts to vote on the issues that face us do to the poor condition Dan Field left our county financially. No surprise though Dan left Quartzsite in a similar manner when he left there many years ago as Manager. Duce and DL played no part hiring Dan Field or his wife and again I do support their actions. I do NOT support Holly Irwin who played a part in our current financial state by supporting Dan Field and wasting money on numerous Park projects we really couldn’t pay for. For Holly it is easy to sit back, vote no on all the recent decisions to keep our county from bankruptcy. But as she sits back and portrays herself as the Angel of the employees and residents of the County she offer NO solutions to the financial problems she was partly to blame for. It all happened on her watch! I do have many ideas and proposals that could save the County money and I will continue to talk among my friends in the county about what I feel the direction of District 3 should be and how it could positively help the overall financial situation of the county.

    Gary Zak 2020

  20. Joe the plumber

    Where’s Joe?

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