PHOENIX — The Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency Management resigned Saturday after 24 years of service, according to state officials.
Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs director, Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, accepted the resignation of Wendy Smith-Reeve Saturday night.
Statement from DEMA & Director General McGuire, who was (now former) Deputy Director Smith-Reeve’s boss: pic.twitter.com/vTHdrvOEPn— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) March 29, 2020
Smith-Reeve began her tenure as Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management in May 2013, assuming the duties of Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Military Affairs (DEMA) in November 2013.
As Director of Emergency Management, Smith-Reeve managed the state's emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. As Deputy Director for DEMA, she made sure the agency Director/Adjutant General in ensuring agency alignment with the Governor's priorities for the state.
According to her biography, she has assisted with the management of recovery efforts for 10 presidential disaster declarations in Arizona, and over 80 state disaster declarations.
Smith-Reeve was also a major decision maker in the state's COVID-19 response and has been in meetings with the President and Vice-President,
If you’re wondering, “why is this a big deal?”— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) March 29, 2020
Gov. Ducey & Dr. Christ have done most of the talking publicly, BUT Director Smith-Reeve is a major decision maker in state’s COVID response & has been in the meetings with POTUS & VP.https://t.co/vAcadQ4NVy https://t.co/LXYtxBdK6X
Smith Reeve tells ABC15, she was not asked to resign, but said, "It's not what I wanted. I served for 23.5 years."
When asked why she resigned, she said, "I'm still a state employee until the 31st. I'm happy to talk more then."
The former Director said she submitted her resignation via email to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and he accepted it.
RESIGNATION LETTER:— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) March 29, 2020
In her resignation, @wendysmithreev1 wrote, “considering the changes...it has become clear that my role is being addressed by the Governor’s staff and ADHS, which means my presence and function is duplicative. This is not healthy for the Team.” pic.twitter.com/WYRXL9rKfx
According to Governor Ducey’s Office, the resignation is not related to any disagreements over a shelter in place order or health policy decisions.
I want to thank @wendysmithreev1 on behalf of the Governor's Office for her service to the state of Arizona. Having worked with Wendy through multiple fire seasons, I can say she's made a difference and truly cares about the state. We are thankful for her service. https://t.co/NiLD11pe3l— Daniel Scarpinato (@Scarpinato) March 29, 2020
Officials say Anthony Cox, the Division of Emergency Management's deputy director since 2017, will assume the role of acting director.