200 attend Clark Co. meeting, most mad about Benton hiring

200 attend Clark Co. meeting, most mad about Benton hiring
FILE - In this Jan 14, 2013 photo, Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, shakes hands on the opening day of the 2013 legislative session. Benton was picked Wednesday, May 1, 2013, to become Clark County's director of environmental services. The position has been vacant since February when previous director Kevin Gray announced his retirement. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — More than 200 people crammed into a Clark County Commission meeting, most of them upset about the hiring of state Sen. Don Benton as the county's director of environmental services.

Benton, a former head of the state Republican Party, was selected by the two Republican commissioners last week over the objections of the commission's lone Democrat, who called it cronyism. The Republicans acknowledged they bypassed typical hiring practices because they needed to fill the position quickly and it was unlikely a better candidate could be found.

The Columbian newspaper reports that around 80 people gathered before the meeting Tuesday night meeting to protest in front of the county's main administration building. Some held signs demanding a recall.

Several speakers at the meeting decried Benton's hiring as unethical.


Information from: The Columbian.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.