Employee fired and escorted from Town Hall

UPDATE: “I can neither confirm nor deny our Office’s involvement with any matters related to the Town of Parker.” – Arizona Auditor General’s Office by email Friday.

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An employee was fired and escorted from Town Hall last Friday, according to a press release by the Town. Jennifer Alcaida had been in an administrative role with the Town of Parker for many years, and her actions while employed are now being investigated criminally, according to reports.

“On September 23rd, 2021, the Town of Parker was notified by the Arizona Auditor General’s Office that an interview was conducted with a Town employee,” the statement said. “Based on that information, as well as communication the Town had directly with the employee, the Town terminated the employee effective Friday, September 24th, 2021.”

The matter is under investigation by the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office and the La Paz County Attorney’s Office, according to the release.

Alcaida is reportedly alleged to have misappropriated Town funds during her employment. The news comes at a time when the Town of Parker has been the focus of several controversies regarding personnel management and use of funds. Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer has come under criticism from council members for her leadership, most recently around the termination of another employee, Darla Tilley, who ran the Parker Senior Center and its programs.

Tilley wrote to Parker Live after the news of Alcaida’s firing, saying, “She is also one of the people that accused me of wrongdoing. It’s all making a little more sense now.”

Another former employee wrote to Parker Live, characterizing Alcaida as a “personal friend” of Wedemeyer’s and saying, “The citizens should have answers to the corruption going on at Town Hall.”

The Town says that it will fully cooperate with the investigation into Alcaida’s actions while employed there, and will release further information as it becomes available.

Alcaida’s thoughts about the termination of Tilley’s employment with the Town were a matter of public record, when she wrote a ‘Letter to the Editor’ of the Parker Pioneer in July which said, “One of my favorite quotes of all time states, ‘You are always one choice away from a completely different life.’ Choices were made and now they need to be lived with. Darla chose to retire, chose to leave. Bottom line. … It is time to move on. The choice was made and, as adults, we need to live with the consequences of those choices. Let’s quit beating a dead horse.”

Council member Randy Hartless said he doesn’t know anything more than the general public, but believes that other council members do, while information is withheld from him.

“This is just the way it works there,” he said. “Here’s a good example. (The council) had a public meeting on Tuesday where we were talking about some special curbs that need replaced. Back a few months ago, Public Works guy Steve Ziegler comes up and says, ‘My guys aren’t trained in the special standards for these curbs to replace them, I’d like to hire this firm to do it,’ and it was around $15,000. It became a whole point of contention with (council members) Frank Savino and Jerry Hooper saying no, we think our own guys can do it. Steve said no, you’re wrong, and it went to a vote, and the council voted 4-2 to hire the outside firm to do it. This is months ago. So now, on Tuesday, they’re talking about these curbs and it’s going on and on and I said, ‘I thought we already approved these curbs?’ (Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer) said, ‘Well, honestly, I told Steve to hold off and not to do the bid yet.’ Really? This council voted to award that bid. Then it turned out that Frank and Jerry were in her office when she was discussing it afterwards. How can it be legal that an action of the Parker Town Council gets ignored by the Town Manager, who’s listening to two of the council members who are telling her to ignore it? There is a small faction running this town.”

Hartless said he doesn’t know what Alcaida was terminated for, or what the investigation is about.

“This is not the way it’s supposed to work,” he said.

Parker Live has asked the Arizona Auditor General’s Office for more information about the case and will update this article if we hear anything back.

24 comments

  1. Only one !?

    What about the rest of them ???

  2. Dusti Lauryn Miller Erica Daniels this is what the release means 😂🤣

  3. The hole town is like that it’s nothing new the county is the same way

  4. Judy Cook the hole town? Um, ok.

  5. The whole town Haha the only thing that I care about as a public works employee for the town is delivering each customer we have the safest water that I can

  6. Randy J Hartless accurate though

  7. Six Degrees of Lori Wedemeyer

  8. Is it common practice to not reveal this kind of pertinent information to the public by the politicians who serve at the pleasure of the public?

  9. When the are y’all going to get the cause of all the problems, get wedemeyer the hell out. 👋🏻👋🏻

  10. Joaquin Vences ….Stoops… 😂😂

  11. I just have to say as a Town of Parker Employee that’s not quite true. now I’m not saying I have a engineering degree in concrete but from the sidewalks leading to the bleachers at Aaron Hill to the million headstones we have all put concrete boarders around when installed. To the concrete kickers we form and pour every time I have a different transition in large pipe that I’m installing in our water system. Why not just hire a engineer to draw up some plans and let us handle one corner I know we can do it and maybe our town manger believes we can do it🤘🤘🤘🤘

  12. Hector Enriquez Jr. You’re a good employee and no one should be taking a hit for someone else’s actions! There is only one person to blame and that is the person who committed the crime!

  13. Randy J Hartless yes the tow and the county to they do what they want

  14. Concerned citizens

    You are missing the point “Town Employee” the council already discussed and voted. Town manager (at the direction of two council members) disregarded the council’s decision and vote and by her own admission halted the project. According to town attorney that is grounds for dismissal. And let’s be honest she doesn’t think anything she just does what two council members directs her to do, despite what the rest of the council votes on.

  15. Katharine Parsons sorry Lori isn’t all the problem by herself! Y’all keep voting in the same ppl on to TC not because they know their shit or because they have the best interest for the town, but because they are your family and/or friends SMFH That has alot to do with it I don’t gave a rats ass about opinions of other. I’ve sat on TC and I know exactly whats going on and how it works. Y’all better start making wiser choices when you go to the polls and vote!🤷🏾

  16. Mona Reyna Duran I’m not even living in Arizona so I have no say in the voting. TRUST ME I WOULD LOVE TO VOTE HER ASS OUT. At the end of the day though Lori as the finance director knows all about GAAP procedure and it was her job to make sure they were being implemented.
    Honestly, Parker is a town where it doesn’t matter who you are it’s who you know. She is responsible for all of this, why isn’t she being held responsible?

  17. This article sure took an interesting turn! A TOP employee is terminated for allegedly misappropriating town funds, and a majority of the article is about Mr. Hartless complaining about curbs. Not saying curbs aren’t important, but I’m a bit more interested in what this employee allegedly did? how long allegedly had it been ongoing? how much money was allegedly taken? Was it grant money? Was it sales tax? Was it general fund tax dollars? Does the accused have a custom built house in the Caribbean with the alleged money stolen? And the list goes on.
    But, now I know about curbs in Parker! 🙂

  18. Katharine Parsons i agree with you to a certain extent. Yes, she should know and is certainly responsible as is: the individual themselves (more so) that employee had 20 years working with the town. I rest my case!

  19. Ppl really need to quit blaming somebody, everybody else for their errors and wrong doing. They all need to take responsibility for their own actions. Unless Lori was standing right next to her coaching her every stroke then yeah I would say Lori is a problem but I’m pretty sure thats that the case. But idk I’m just a concern voting ciziten worried about the lil town i was born and raised in and ppl that don’t have any ties or think they privileged enough to do the outrageous shit that they do while employed at the town of Parker.

  20. Pete Vinnie Bassmaster

    “There are few things more dangerous than a mixture of power, arrogance and incompetence.” – Bob Herbert

  21. Greg- This is as much info as we have on the situation with the employee. Mr. Hartless’s comments were relevant because it was an example of what he alleges the Town dynamic to be. These are all good questions though. Still awaiting answers.

  22. It’s time for the town to really wake up and do something about this mess,the lady in charge should have known whAt was going on after all is the Boss of every thing, Randy and the Karen are the only ones that seem to care,The Queen needs to go

  23. Just looking into the future

    Drain the swamp!

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