The Pima County Board of Supervisors appointed, 3-2, along party lines, former Arizona Daily Star reporter Joe Ferguson as constable in Precinct 9, but the move drew sharp criticism during discussions.

Republican supervisors Ally Miller and Steve Christy voted against appointing Ferguson to the position over the other candidate, George Camacho.

Miller said Camacho had 18 years of experience as a "deputy constable" and participated in writing the constable procedures manual for the State of Arizona.

"This individual, if you look at his background, he is the most qualified individual, and again we're using these appointments to give a political favor to somebody," she said. "And this is just wrong."

Chairman Richard Elías interrupted Miller to state it was an "extremely ugly accusation."

"The point is, Mr. Ferguson has no qualifications in this area," Miller said. "You are in control of this, but it's wrong, and I don't know how you can make the statement that Mr. Ferguson is more qualified for the position than Mr. Camacho."

Elías said Camacho was a fine individual but he thought Ferguson would be a better constable.

Camacho and Ferguson are registered Democrats, according to documents attached to the agenda.

After the vote, a commotion broke out as Camacho's father shouted at Elías. Elías ejected him before proceeding with the meeting.

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