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Hobbs shakes up staff

Hobbs shakes up staff

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Two top staff members in the governor’s office departed this week amid a larger “reorganization” announced late on Friday afternoon. 

Murphy Hebert, the former communications director for Gov. Katie Hobbs, left the office on Friday, a few days after spokeswoman Josselyn Berry resigned on Tuesday night. 

Will Gaona, who was initially hired in a public affairs position, will move into a newly created deputy chief of staff job, under chief of staff Allie Bones. And Jennifer Loredo and Tracy Lopes, who were both already working in the governor’s office, will take on new roles. 

Hebert didn’t reply to messages from the Capitol Times on Friday afternoon after the announcement, but she was apparently still working that morning, including communicating with the Capitol Times and other reporters. 

Hebert was Hobbs’ longtime spokeswoman while Hobbs was the Secretary of State, and she was among a group of Secretary of State staffers who had moved over to the governor’s office with Hobbs earlier this year. That group also included Bones, Gaona, communications aide Sophia Solis, and others. 

The staffing changes came less than three months into Hobbs’ term in office and it wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the shake-up, but it did come on the heels of a tumultuous week in which Berry resigned after posting a controversial tweet. 

The tweet, sent hours after the school shooting in Nashville, Tenn., featured an image of a woman brandishing handguns with the caption: “Us when we see transphobes.” Berry resigned the following day following online criticism. Hobbs asked for Berry’s resignation, Hebert said at the time. 

Chief of Staff Allie Bones didn’t offer many more details about the reorganization in a message to the Capitol Times, but she seemed to indicate that Hebert’s departure wasn’t another resignation under pressure. 

“This reorganization is a part of an ongoing assessment of our administration’s strengths and opportunities. Murphy is a dedicated public servant and a valued member of the Hobbs team, and we will be working with her on pursuing her next opportunity,” Bones wrote in a text message on Friday. 

The chief of staff also told the Arizona Republic that the moves weren’t connected to Berry’s tweet and resignation and insisted that they weren’t a sign of any internal dysfunction. 

 Yellow Sheet editor Wayne Schutsky contributed to this report.

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