On Thursday, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs announced that Allie Bones, her Chief of Staff and decades-long friend, had resigned. Hobbs expressed her well wishes for Bones’ future endeavors. The resignation is effective immediately, and the Governor’s Office plans to announce a new Chief of Staff next week. Prior to becoming Chief of Staff to Gov. Hobbs, Bones served as Assistant Secretary of State for four years.
This comes as a wave of other departures pile up, including the resignations of Hobbs’ Communications Director, Deputy Communications Director, and Legislative Affairs Director. Insiders in the state capitol suggest that Bones’ exit represents a loss of confidence in the governor’s leadership.
In April, Hobbs had to replace her Communications Director, Murphy Hebert, as he quit the administration after Hobbs’ former Press Secretary Josselyn Berry’s resignation was requested. Berry’s forced resignation followed a controversial tweet published the day of the Nashville tragedy, where three children and three adults were murdered at a Christian Academy by a transgender school shooter.
BREAKING: Josselyn Berry, the Press Secretary to Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, has resigned after posting this image on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/M9zUz84gbd
— Ben Kew 🏌️♂️ (@ben_kew) March 29, 2023
In February, Hobbs faced a setback when the Arizona Senate rejected her nomination of Dr. Theresa Cullen to lead the Arizona Department of Health Services. The Senate’s vote was disrupted when Senate Minority Leader Raquel Terán (D), claimed that the Governor had rescinded the nomination.
That same month, Hobbs was put in an embarrassing position when the administration admitted that they had failed to properly vet candidates, leading to the resignation of Matthew Stewart whom Hobbs had appointed to lead the Department of Child Services. Stewart was forced out by Hobbs after just a month and a half at his post after Senate Republicans purported troubling incidents in Stewart’s past. These allegations included reprimands for “insubordination and unauthorized absence” while serving as a DCS training operations supervisor in 2020. To avoid potential consequences, Stewart resigned from his position shortly before a suspension could be issued.
To replace Stewart, Hobbs selected Michael Wisehart to head DCS, whom she had previously fired from the Department of Economic Security.
In April, Catherine Sigmon, a judicial appointee chosen by Hobbs, made the decision to withdraw her nomination just days before her confirmation hearing for the Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments. Sigmon, who was appointed by Hobbs approximately four months earlier, chose to abandon her nomination after unsettling and hyper-partisan revelations were brought to the attention of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In a press release, Senate Judiciary Chairman Senator Anthony Kern (R) wrote:
While members of the Senate Judiciary Committee looked into Ms. Sigmon’s background prior to her confirmation hearing scheduled for Thursday, disturbing revelations came to light. Those include her co-founding of “Civic Engagement Beyond Voting,” an organization that routinely attacks conservative Arizona judges through its “Gavel Watch Report” and advocates for their removal, despite recommendations of retention from the Commission on Judicial Performance Review.
After reviewing the Constitutional requirements for the Commission on Trial Court Appointments, two big factors jump out at me. First, the Commission is to be nonpartisan. Second, the Commission’s primary task is to recommend qualified judge candidates to the Governor for appointment. Based on initial vetting of Ms. Sigmon, it’s quite clear she’s an extremist who wants to portray the role of ‘non-partisan.’ Hobbs would have realized this, had she done her own vetting prior to appointing Ms. Sigmon to the Commission. However, as Hobbs has shown, vetting is not at the top of her ‘to-do’ list. As such, we’re thankful that Ms. Sigmon realized she likely would not be a proper fit for the job and resigned. We’re looking forward to Hobbs providing us with a more reasonable appointment.
According to information found on her LinkedIn profile, Sigmon is a co-founder of the contentious anti-school-choice organization known as Save Our Schools.
Bones’ departure marks the fourth resignation of a top-level member from the Hobbs administration in the first six months of her tenure, fueling a concerning lack of stability within the highest echelons of state government.