PHOENIX — Democrat Rose Mofford officially took over as acting Arizona governor Monday, vowing to be healing yet forceful in running the state while impeached Republican Gov. Evan Mecham goes on trial by the state Senate.
Mofford, a Democrat, said she will extend "every courtesy" to Mecham.
The Republican-controlled state House voted Friday evening, 46 to 14, to impeach Mecham. On Monday, it voted 42 to 18 to adopt the specific articles of impeachment before sending them to the Senate, which is expected to organize as an impeachment court Thursday. The Senate trial is scheduled for Feb. 22.
Although the state constitution specifies that the secretary of state becomes acting governor when the governor is impeached, Mofford had declined over the weekend to take the title until she received official notification Monday of the impeachment vote.
Mecham, 63, retains his title pending the trial but is stripped of his gubernatorial powers.
The articles of impeachment against Mecham contain the three charges outlined in House special counsel William P. French's impeachment report--obstruction of justice, filing false sworn statements and misuse of funds.