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Outgoing treasurer rips Maricopa County for ‘toxic’ political environment

Outgoing Maricopa County Treasurer Royce Flora was sworn into office in January 2017. The Republican lost his reelection bid in the 2020 primary. (Facebook Photo/Maricopa County)

PHOENIX – Citing a “toxic” political environment and other issues, Maricopa County’s outgoing treasurer said that Thursday will be his last day in office even though his successor won’t be sworn in until the second week of January.

Republican Royce Flora submitted his resignation letter to Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman on Wednesday.

In it, Flora said he plans to work on a recall effort against the elected board, which consists of four Republicans, including Hickman, and one Democrat.

Flora, who was elected as treasurer for metro Phoenix in 2016, lost his 2020 primary to state Rep. John Allen by 17 percentage points. Allen then defeated Daniel Toporek in the general election.

Because Allen is still a member of the Legislature, he can’t be legally sworn in as treasurer until Jan. 11. Flora’s term was to run until midnight Thursday, but it would have been extended until Allen took office, according to his resignation letter.

The treasurer’s office said in a press release that the position will be vacant until Allen takes over.

Flora’s letter runs down his efforts and accomplishments as treasurer — which he said went “unappreciated and ignored by the Board” — and explains why he won’t stay on for the extra 11 days.

“First, the liability bond protecting me expires December 31st, 2020 and I would become personably liable for any loss,” Flora wrote. “Second, the political environment at the County has become so toxic I have no desire to endure further abuse.

“Finally, I intend to participate in the recall of the Maricopa County board of supervisors, which puts me in direct conflict with County government.”

The letter doesn’t provide specifics of what Flora considered abuse or include additional details about a recall effort.

According to the Arizona Mirror, Flora butted heads with the Board of Supervisors and County Attorney Allister Adel over his efforts to increase the salaries of two treasurer’s office employees.

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