Gov. Ducey appoints Andy Tobin to replace Susan Bitter Smith -

Gov. Ducey appoints Andy Tobin to replace Susan Bitter Smith

Gov. Ducey appoints Andy Tobin to replace Susan Bitter Smith

Governor Doug Ducey has appointed former House Speaker Andy Tobin to fill a vacancy on the Arizona Corporation Commission. That vacancy was left by Arizona Corporation Commissioner Susan Bitter Smith. Bitter Smith, accused of having a conflict of interest for allegedly lobbying for companies the commission regulates, announced earlier this month that she will resign effective Jan. 4.

Bitter Smith, a Republican who currently chairs the five-member commission, said she believes she's on solid legal ground but the issue has become a distraction to the important work of the commission.

The announcement of her resignation came after her lawyer had urged the Arizona Supreme Court to reject an effort by Attorney General Mark Brnovich to remove her from office. Her attorney, Ed Novak, wrote in a filing with the high court that Brnovich's conclusion that Bitter Smith lobbies for a company the commission regulates is false. Now, Andy Tobin is set to step into the role.

“Andy Tobin is a leader with the experience, skills and integrity to responsibly and effectively represent the people of Arizona from Day One,” said Governor Ducey. Ducey went on to say that Tobin brings a rural perspective, decades of experience in public and private sectors.

"There’s a reason I’ve trusted Andy with so many important roles in my own administration," says Ducey. "He’s a person of outstanding integrity. Andy is his own man, known for sticking to his guns and doing what he knows is right, even when the stakes are high and even under intense outside pressure. Now, more than ever, that strength of character is needed on this commission.”

“I’m honored that Governor Ducey has selected me for this important position,” said Mr. Tobin. “Throughout my life in public service, I have never taken for granted the serious responsibility of putting the people – all the people – first. Rural Arizona needs a voice on the Arizona Corporation Commission, and I intend to be that voice.”

Mr. Tobin is currently the director of the Arizona Department of Insurance and the interim director of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, positions he will vacate when he joins the commission.