The recorder plans to fill the vacancy, but might reconfigure who the chief of staff reports to.
Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes’ chief of staff has resigned less than four months into the job.
Mike Schiller, who previously was Fontes’ assistant campaign manager, said the job put a strain on his loved ones.
Schiller had commuted for years as a business consultant between Arizona and Ohio, where his wife lives. He had not been able to return to Ohio as frequently since taking the chief of staff post in January, he said.
“I need to just spend more time with my wife and family,” Schiller said. “We accomplished most of the things we set out to do,” such as a major reorganization and hiring spree.
In just a few months, Fontes has shaken up the office by clashing with Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan, fending off the Arizona Legislature, forming a community-relations team, requesting a bigger budget, hiring “friendly” hackers to test the election system’s security, proposing to do away with polling places and settling a long-running elections lawsuit.
Fontes said he accepted Schiller’s resignation reluctantly.
“There’s no animus between us,” he said. “He staffed me very well.”
Fontes said he plans to fill the position, but might reconfigure who the chief of staff reports to.
Schiller, one of two managers directly under Fontes, oversaw administrative services, press relations and community relations. Chief Deputy Recorder Keely Varvel, also under Fontes, handles mapping services, information technology, elections, voter registration and recording.
“This was unexpected and a bit of a surprise, but luckily the day-to-day operations of the office will not be impacted,” Fontes said.
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