Temporary replacement needed to keep state running
If state business is to continue uninterrupted, Gov. Kenny Guinn and the Senate will have to name a temporary replacement as soon as possible.
The Assembly voted to issue articles of impeachment accusing Augustine of misusing her office to essentially run her re-election campaign two years ago. When those articles of impeachment are officially received by the Senate, Augustine immediately loses her authority to sign bills and warrants as state controller until and unless the Senate resolves the charges in her favor.
Without a temporary replacement, that means no state money can be used to pay bills or issue checks. Since her defense will have 10 days to prepare and the Senate trial could take a week or more, that would bring many state government activities to a halt.
Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Lorne Malkiewich said the governor must name a temporary replacement and the Senate must consent to his selection. That replacement will then have the ability to, in effect, sign checks on behalf of the state in the interim.
He said the Senate will be called back to receive the articles as early as tomorrow and, hopefully, affirm the governor’s selection as temporary replacement.
Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.