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Arizona's Director Of Emergency Management Abruptly Resigns

The state's director of emergency management resigned unexpectedly Saturday after more than 23 years on the job. Her deputy has been appointed to her position. 

Wendy Smith-Reeve formally resigned her position as the state's director of Emergency Management on Saturday.

Smith-Reeve had been in a prominent role during the coronavirus crisis, serving alongside Gov. Doug Ducey and Dr. Cara Christ and representing the state in meetings with President Trump and Vice President Pence.

In her letter of resignation, Smith-Reeve said in part, “considering the changes that have taken place as a direct result of this event, it has become clear that my role is being addressed by the governor’s staff and ADHS, which means my presence is duplicative.”

Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, the director of the state's Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, which oversees the Director of Emergency Management, appointed Smith-Reeve's deputy, Anthony Cox, to her position.

Ducey's chief of staff Daniel Scarpinato tweeted his support for Maj. Gen. McGuire, saying Arizona "won't miss a beat with him and his team at the helm."

Smith-Reeve's last day in the position is Tuesday, March 31.

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Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.