Arizona's Director of Emergency Management resigns

The director of Arizona's Division of Emergency Management resigned, department officials confirmed Saturday.

Wendy Smith-Reeve sent in her resignation letter and the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs accepted it.

In her resignation letter to Gov. Ducey and General Michael McGuire, Smith-Reeve described her current duties as "duplicative" and criticized the governor's actions, calling them "completely outside" what was directed in the state's emergency response and recovery plan.

Read Wendy Smith-Reeve resignation letter below:

“The lack of communication and transparency is degrading the hybrid process that non-emergency management trained individuals have put into place,” Smith-Reeves wrote.

She managed the state’s emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation efforts.

Anthony Cox is the deputy director of the division and will assume the role of acting division director, bringing with him 19 years of experience in the emergency management arena, the department said.

Maj. Aaron Thacker, Arizona National Guard Public Affairs Officer, released a statement on behalf of the department:

“We appreciate Deputy Director Smith-Reeve’s service. As Director of DEMA, I am grateful for Mr. Cox’s willingness to assume the director of the Division of Emergency Management position,” McGuire said. “I have full confidence and trust that Mr. Cox, along with the deep bench of talented and capable leaders on the DEMA team will not miss a beat as we drive on to serve the great state and citizens of Arizona.”

Smith-Reeve, who reported to McGuire, had been the director since May 2013 after joining as a finance specialist for the Public Assistance Program within the recovery section in September 1996.

Ducey signed an $11.8 billion budget Saturday that includes $50 million to help the state deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

MORE: Arizona governor signs stripped-down $11.8 billion budget

Arizona health officials said Wednesday that the state now has tallied 1,413 COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths.

Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county and where the most coronavirus cases have been reported so far in Arizona, now has 873 cases. Pima County has 217.

All of Arizona’s 15 counties have reported coronavirus cases.