After months of political posturing, the committee conducting the Good Will-Hinckley investigation produced a smoking gun, just not the one some members of the committee thought they were looking for. The governor’s staff testified under oath, but their testimony did not reveal any new facts.

Hours into the marathon inquisition of nine witnesses, however, a revelation developed from Bill Brown, an employee of Speaker of the House Mark Eves.

Under oath, Brown reversed his testimony and admitted that he had indeed provided his boss with advantages that other candidates for the job did not receive.

Although Bill Brown previously stated that he had recused himself from offering advice or reviewing his boss’s application, Brown revealed that he had not only been present at both his boss’s initial and final in-person interviews, but he also served on the search committee for the next president of Good Will-Hinckley, encouraged Mark Eves to apply for the job, and he had provided information about his boss to the search committee, which caused Sen. David Burns to point out that Brown had contradicted his prior testimony.

When pressed, Bill Brown also admitted that he had reviewed Eves’ resume and offered suggestions. Brown may have taken other steps to tailor the process to ensure his boss would be selected, but Committee Chairman Roger Katz stopped Rep. Deb Sanderson and ruled further questioning as irrelevant and joined the Democrats in a partisan vote to block further questioning over Republicans’ objections.

In September, OPEGA declined to interview Bill Brown, too, because they somehow didn’t think his role was relevant either.

Bill Brown’s recent testimony clearly revealed that Mark Eves had a built-in advantage from the start with a member of his staff embedded in the search process.

If that’s not a smoking gun, I don’t know what is.

Rep. Heather Sirocki