- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - A Chandler lawyer called for the impeachment of Republican Secretary of State Michele Reagan on Friday after she failed to properly inform the public ahead of the May 17 special election.

It’s unlikely that Arizona’s GOP-controlled Legislature would agree to move forward with an impeachment of a fellow Republican and former colleague, but attorney Tom Ryan said it’s necessary because Reagan intentionally hid an error resulting in hundreds of thousands of voters not receiving their election guides in time for next week’s special election.

He also accused Reagan of campaigning in support of Proposition 123, one of the measures on the ballot in next week’s election. Ryan works on a campaign to oppose the same measure.

“Here’s our problem: We have a secretary of state who fundamentally does not understand her job,” he said. “She is not supposed to be putting her thumb on the scales.”

The latest snafu, combined with problems at polling places in Maricopa County during the March 22 presidential primary are enough to warrant the impeachment, Ryan said.

Secretary of State spokesman Matt Roberts sidestepped commenting on the call for impeachment. He said Reagan has no opinion on Proposition 123, although she supported efforts to put more education dollars into the classroom before the ballot measure’s filing.

“Mr. Ryan is clearly frustrated with the process, but so are we. No one goes into elections with the hope that something is going to go wrong,” Roberts said.

Voters are being asked in Proposition 123 to boost withdrawals from the state land trust to fund education and in Proposition 124 to overhaul the state police and firefighter pension system.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich denied a request by Ryan to postpone the election Thursday, saying the secretary of state’s office violated the law, but there was no legal remedy available.

Brnovich said cancelling the election would disenfranchise many more voters who have already cast early ballots than the more than 400,000 who didn’t receive election publicity pamphlets.

Ryan said the effort is a last resort because he doesn’t have enough cash to push a recall effort or enough time to challenge the election through the Supreme Court. He said he intends to send a letter to legislative leadership encouraging the impeachment proceedings.

The last time an Arizona official was impeached was in 1988, when then-Gov. Evan Mecham was convicted of misuse of state money. Impeachment proceedings require a two-thirds vote in the Senate and a majority in the House.

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