Mecham Gets Recall Notice, Vows to Stay

Associated Press

Gov. Evan Mecham was officially notified Tuesday that he must resign by Saturday or run in a recall election, but a spokesman said the governor has no plans to quit.

Secretary of State Rose Mofford, a Democrat who would replace the Republican governor if he resigned or were removed, went to the governor's office to deliver a letter outlining his options.

Mecham, 63, also faces a criminal trial March 9 on charges of concealing a $350,000 campaign loan, and he faces possible impeachment by the state House, perhaps as soon as next week.

Mofford's letter told Mecham he has the right to submit a 200-word statement "defending your official conduct" that would be included on the recall ballot.

"Should you choose to resign, you may do so by filing a written tender on or before Jan. 30," she said in the letter.

Mofford told reporters after her brief visit to Mecham that "the governor was very gracious" and promised a reply by Saturday. "He was very warm and cordial and thanked me very much," she said.

However, she added, "It's difficult to do that to anybody. . . . I have a certain feeling in me, a very empty feeling."

Gubernatorial spokesman Ken Smith told reporters that Mecham "has no intention of resigning." The governor has not made any public appearances since Saturday.

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