Mixed metaphors? Sure. But how else to describe Susan Bitter Smith’s bizarre sense of self-importance which she assumed placed her above the law?
Amid charges of conflict of interest that caused Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to file this Petition for Special Action to remove her from office due to ineligibility, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Susan Bitter Smith resigned Thursday.
She was elected to a four-year term on the Commission which began January 2013. Her resumé will no doubt be removed shortly, but from her vast array of positions, it’s clear Susan Bitter Smith, 60, has been around the political block a time or two and can’t allege ignorance of the law.
Taking the Arizonans who elected her for fools, Bitter Smith claimed she was resigning her elected position because the controversy was becoming a distraction, creating difficulties in doing her job.
Left unspecified was which job she was referring to. She has worked as a registered lobbyist and executive for a trade association of cable companies regulated by the very same Arizona Corporation Commission she chairs as a state regulator. The combined yearly salaries of the two jobs are in excess of a quarter of a million dollars. Jan. 4, 2016 is her last day with the Corporation Commission.
From the Attorney General’s Nov. 30, 2015 Press Release:
On September 2, 2015, the Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”) launched an investigation into Bitter Smith after receiving a formal complaint against her. The AGO investigation found Bitter Smith receives over $150,000 per year for her trade association work, on top of her $79,500 salary as a Commissioner. Arizona State Statute 40-101 prohibits Commissioners from being employed by or holding an official relationship to companies regulated by the Commission. The law also prohibits Commissioners from having a financial interest in regulated companies. Section 40-101 promotes ethics in government and prevents conflicts of interest.
Read the 128 unambiguous words which comprise 40-101 under link.
As we previously wrote, There’s no way to put lipstick on this pig. It’s a Category 5, GOP intra-party, cringe worthy embarrassment. At the time, although Bitter Smith had filed for reelection, AZ Republican Party chairman Robert Graham had called for her to step down.
Susan Bitter Smith’s arrogance far exceeds either rationality or ethics, though she was well compensated for her egotism.
Gov. Doug Ducey will now appoint a replacement, who will run for the office in November.