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Longtime County Managers Resign Parks Director Sam Angove, Human Resources Director Skip Wright, Both Under Fire Recently, Will Leave In May

A personnel upheaval in Spokane County government which began last month continued Tuesday with the resignations of two longtime managers.

Parks Director Sam Angove and Human Resources Director Skip Wright told county commissioners they will resign in May.

Angove has been with the county for 26 years, Wright for 16. Both had been under fire recently.

Commission Chairman Skip Chilberg said it is only a coincidence the resignations closely follow the demotion of longtime administrator Marshall Farnell.

Chilberg said Wright and Angove “have built up some baggage” in their careers and that a change would be good for both of them and the county.

Some county officials recently criticized Wright for his handling of personnel problems, including an investigation into complaints made against Angove by nearly a dozen parks workers.

Angove submitted a one-paragraph resignation letter Tuesday.

The director of the Parks, Recreation and Fair Department went on an extended medical leave last week, telling commissioners he is suffering health problems related to stress.

He requested the leave one day after commissioners revealed 11 of his employees had complained to county officials that he verbally abused them on the job, creating a hostile work environment.

The commissioners directed the Human Resources Department to investigate the claims. That inquiry has not been completed.

Angove, who makes about $68,000 per year for supervising a $5.5 million budget and 45 employees, refuses to discuss the claims. Efforts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Gary Oberg, who supervises the county’s corrections program, has been named interim parks director while Angove is on leave.

Chilberg said a search for a permanent replacement will begin immediately.

Angove has expressed interest in running one of the county’s three golf courses after he steps down.

Jim Lindow, the new county administrator, told Angove in a letter accepting his resignation that commissioners would not object to that.

Commissioners met privately with Wright on Tuesday to discuss his job performance, Chilberg said.

“We didn’t ask for his resignation, but we accepted it,” the commissioner said.

Wright, who earns $63,000 annually, said commissioners exerted no pressure on him to step down and the decision was his.

“I think it’s just time for a change for me,” said Wright, 54, who plans to begin looking for a job soon. “It’s kind of a calculated risk at my age, but like my wife said, it will be an adventure.”

County commissioners also have decided to launch an immediate search for a replacement for Wright, who controls a budget of more than $550,000 and supervises 10 employees.

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