Resigning under pressure
Bitter Smith admits nothing wrong with her working for the industry she regulates. Nothing new there other than her wanting the AZ Supreme Court to continue with a legal finding in spite of her resignation. There are lots of sources on this one. Try the Daily Star
Who will replace Bitter Smith?
Daily Star columnist Tim Steller suggests six possibilities. You've probably heard of some of them, like Lea Marquez Peterson, a Ducey supporter and head of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
And Al "Nuclear Dump" Melvin? Oh, God, I hope not.
The last guy on Steller's list sounds like he has some creds for the position, but that in itself might disqualify him.
You probably haven’t heard [Mike] Boyd talked about as a political candidate for years, but Boyd could make sense as an appointee. A former TV newsman and Pima County supervisor, Boyd has spent many of the intervening years working for clean-energy companies, so he’s familiar with both politics and the issues that occupy the commission’s time.
However, Boyd isn’t particularly close to Ducey, either, and doesn’t offer the governor’s team a lot of political benefits as an appointee.
Attorney Tom Ryan, the guy who initiated the complaint against Bitter Smith, wants Ducey to appoint a judge that is independent and neutral and who won't run in 2016 for reelection.
Bitter Smith's resignation takes effect January 4th, so a replacement - another Republican by law - is likely to be announced soon.