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DES Director uses state email system to proselytize to 7,700 state workers

“Director Jeffries has long been known for his ‘quirky’ style of leadership, which includes frequent mention of his religious views in DES all-employee meetings and on video presentations,” said Zenaido Quintana, chair of Secular Coalition for Arizona. “This latest all-employee email, which was sent to us by a DES employee disturbed by its contents, is particularly egregious and could have had him fired from many companies - organizations where policies are in place to prevent work email from being used to proselytize religion.    
 
“It’s even worse that Director Jeffries is in charge of Arizona’s Department of Economic Security, since it gives the appearance that government is endorsing a particular sect of a specific religion, despite any caveats included in his email,” said Quintana. Workplace policies serve an important purpose, by protecting all employees, regardless of their personal religious belief or non-belief, from being pressured inappropriately by those in power.  The State of Arizona Employee handbook states that 'Any use of State property for other than State-business purposes must be exercised in accordance with your agency’s policies and procedures.'  We believe that the dissemination of personal religious beliefs is not considered legitimate State business.  Director Jeffries should be expected to comply with State policy just as is expected of all state employees, regardless of position or power.”

Text of the Full Email:

From: Jeffries, Timothy 
Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2016 3:27 PM
To: *All DES Employees <AllDESEmployees@azdes.gov>
Subject: Lourdes

 
Happy Sunday, my dear friends and colleagues.
 
Some of you may recall that my beloved wife Mary Frances and I are members of the Order of Malta.  Among the many things, the 968 year history of the Order continues to amaze, humble and inspire us.  The Order was founded in Jerusalem in 1048 AD, and granted papal recognition in 1113 AD.  The Order's global works for the poor and the sick frame, fuel and sustain us!!  In fact, a couple of my tattoos are inspired by the Order, one reads "OBSEQUIUM PAUPERUM" which literally means "Obedience to the Poor" and the sick.
 
Every year towards the end of April, the global Order brings the seriously afflicted and dying from our respective countries to Lourdes, France where we lovingly serve them for 8 days.  As a result, we seek to lighten their ofttimes incomprehensibly heavy burdens, and bring light to darkness that can surely seem to never end.  Quite thankfully, this will be my 7th year in a row of humble service, and I promise to carry all of you in my heart when I am serving those in great need.
 
If you are comfortable, I would be immensely honored to carry your special intentions to the Grotto at Massabielle on the River Gave in Lourdes.  If you are moved to do this, simply place your special intentions in a MS Word document, then PDF the private document.  Upon doing so, please email the PDF to me.  I promise that your private intentions will not be read.  Your special intentions will be printed, and placed in a confidential envelope for my humble delivery to the Grotto.
 
Thank you again for all of your support, engagement, encouragement and kindness.  I have never felt so loved by so many.  I hope you feel loved too.  Together, we are the very best.

Joyfully in service,
DITAT DEUS :-)
Director J.
 

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