Posted: 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, 2014

9 Investigates hiring of Orlando mayor's former campaign manager

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Craig Borkon photo
Craig Borkon

ORLANDO, Fla. —

9 Investigates' Christopher Heath spent weeks tracking down documents that raise questions about the hiring of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer's former campaign manager.

Craig Borkon was mayor Buddy Dyer's campaign manager, but now has a $69,000 a year job as the venues assistant to the director for the city of Orlando.

Officials told Channel 9 that Dyer had no influence in the hiring of Borkon, but Heath went through a dozen other applications for Borkon's position and discovered none of the applicants ever got an interview for the job.

According to the city's own job description, Borkon is unqualified for the job. In its posting, officials were looking for a person with a bachelor's degree and two years of experience, and Borkon has neither.

"It was an internal posting only and he was already in that role and you do have allowances for acclimated experience," said venues director Allen Johnson.

Johnson, who he hired Borkon, said Borkon worked part time for 5 months in the venues department before he was offered the full-time position.

The head of venues said the deal to bring the Orlando Predators back to the Amway Center wouldn't have been possible without Borkon. Borkon deals with bids, scheduling and policies when it comes to Orlando's venues.

City records obtained by WFTV show that 12 others applied for the job, some with master's degrees in public administration, but none of them got an interview.

"I don't see a venues history on his resume," said Heath.

"It could be considered real-world experience in negotiating agreements," said Johnson.

But Mike Cantone with County Watch said the lack of qualifications and his connections to the mayor raise serious questions.

"The main point here is favoritism and whether cronyism is at play," said Cantone. "There are many other city employees that would love to have this position."

The city said Borkon has done an outstanding job during the time that he's held the venues position. Johnson told Eyewitness News he was "absolutely not" pressured by the mayor to hire Borkon.

 
 
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