The chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission on Tuesday asked fellow commissioners to submit to drug tests because a small amount of marijuana was found in the utility regulating panel’s offices.
Chairman Gary Pierce made the request during a staff meeting Tuesday. The Republican said he’ll be tested and wants commissioners’ offices swept by a drug-sniffing dog. He also asked his colleagues to be tested.
“I feel the need to prove to the best of my ability that my decisions at the commission are not made under the influence of marijuana, and that I am not responsible for its presence … ,” Pierce said.
A commission staffer found a small amount of a leafy substance in a bathroom located in a secured part of the building on July 7. Police verified it was marijuana.
Republican Commissioners Brenda Burns and Bob Stump volunteered to let their offices be searched.
Democrats Sandra Kennedy and Paul Newman didn’t comment on Pierce’s proposals during the meeting, but Newman later issued a statement saying he refused a search.
“This is a gross violation of legal process, good sense and the constitutional and privacy rights of everyone,” Newman said. “It is excessive beyond reason.”
While Newman was a Cochise County supervisor in 2004, Border Patrol agents found marijuana residue in his county car at a checkpoint. He was not prosecuted.
– Article originally from The Republic.