Alleging conflicts of interest, the Phoenix-based Public Integrity Alliance -- formerly the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance -- urged Arizona Corporation Commission Chairwoman Susan Bitter-Smith to resign her positions with Cox Communications and other lobbying groups last month.
“For a sitting member of a quasi-judicial commission entrusted to protect the public, we share the public’s outrage over the appearance of conflicts of interest and share our concerns for possible violations of the state constitution,” Public Integrity Alliance President Tyler Montague said. “In light of this, we ask Commissioner Bitter-Smith to immediately resign from her private employers and only represent the people of Arizona as she was elected to do.”
A letter sent to Bitter-Smith last month included demands of resignation from Cox Communications, the Arizona Cable TV Association, Southwest Cable Telecommunications Association and Technical Solutions.
The communication insisted that she publicly disclose any and all contracts of Technical Solutions which may have an immediate benefit for Technical Solutions based upon her position as chairwoman of the Arizona Corporation Commission. It also stipulated that she cease any and all lobbying on behalf of any client during the remainder of her term as a public servant.
“Just as we fought former Attorney General Tom Horne and his corruption-plagued administration, we vow to root out corruption in all levels of Arizona government and hope Commissioner Bitter-Smith will immediately comply with these basic steps to ensure our government remains open and fair,” Montague said.
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