Now is too long to wait - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Now is too long to wait

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Posted: Friday, May 9, 2003 11:01 pm | Updated: 1:14 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Jim Irvin’s address may be in Scottsdale, but from his behavior since a federal jury concluded he misused his office and owes a $60.4 million civil judgment, it’s apparent that mail should be sent to him on Mars.

Disgraced, shunned by leading members of his own Republican Party — including all four of his fellow members of the Arizona Corporation Commission who have called for him to resign or be impeached — Irvin went on a radio talk show Thursday to deny and dodge.

For Jim Irvin, it’s all about Jim Irvin, about how no one understands that he is blameless, about his using linguistic legerdemain to say he was really the winner in court last December, because the jury’s decision hasn’t been ratified by the judge in his trial.

To him, it’s not about how totally ineffective he has become as a commissioner; since the jury agreed with prosecutors’ allegations of illegal, unethical conduct in December his colleagues won’t even discuss commission business with him. The jury found he tried to persuade the Southwest Gas board of directors to accept the bid of one potential buyer over another.

Well, if he wants to quixotically engage in a useless quest for exoneration, he can do it as a private citizen. His ability to effectively serve is now zero. He couldn’t get re-elected in a vote held in a phone booth.

Every day Jim Irvin holds office is a growing, more painful embarrassment to the people of Arizona. He should be removed from office immediately and with a bum’s rush out of Arizona’s back door.

That’s why the House of Representatives must apply the state constitution’s political solution when the legal process has failed to result in an officeholder’s departure from the stage: Impeachment.

Plans are to start a House inquiry this summer. That is much too long to wait. This afternoon is much too long to wait.

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