FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2011
CONTACT: Matthew Benson
Statement from Governor Jan Brewer
Special Session and Removal of IRC Chairwoman
Governor Jan Brewer released the following statement today as she invoked her Constitutional authority to remove a member of the Independent Redistricting Commission:
“The Arizona Constitution provides that the Governor has direct oversight of the Independent Redistricting Commission, as well as the ability to remove any member due to ‘substantial neglect of duty’ or ‘gross misconduct in office.’ I invoked that authority today with my decision to remove IRC Chairwoman Colleen Mathis, and I’ve called the Arizona Legislature into Special Session so that the State Senate may concur with this removal, in accordance with the Constitution.
“I recognize that my decision will not be popular in some quarters. I certainly did not reach it lightly. However, the conduct of the IRC – led by Chairwoman Mathis – has created a cloud of suspicion that will not lift. A flawed redistricting process has resulted in flawed district maps. As Chairwoman of this Commission, the buck stops with Ms. Mathis.
“Today’s action isn’t the easy thing, certainly. But I’m convinced it’s the right thing. I will not sit idly-by while Arizona’s congressional and legislative boundaries are drawn in a fashion that is anything but Constitutional and proper. Arizona voters must live with the new district maps for a decade.
“I urge the Senate to act quickly so that a newly-constituted Redistricting Commission may complete its duties in time.”