PHOENIX - Gov. Janet Napolitano announced Wednesday that she will appoint Elliott Hibbs, a veteran state official who most recently served as state Revenue Department director, to serve temporarily as state treasurer after David Petersen resigns his elective post.
Napolitano said she will appoint Hibbs on Thursday after Petersen resigns as a requirement of a plea agreement.
"I can't think of anyone more qualified to help in a brief period with a transition from a troubled office," Napolitano said. "I am pleased that he is going to step out of retirement, albeit briefly."
Hibbs, a Republican, has held senior posts in state government under both Democratic and Republican governors.
Petersen will be sentenced Friday in Maricopa County Superior Court on his guilty plea to one misdemeanor count of filing a false or incomplete financial disclosure statement. Petersen has said he plans to resign Thursday.
The charge against him capped a months-long investigation by the Attorney General's Office into allegations of theft, fraud and conflict of interest.
Those allegations produced no charges against Petersen, but in his Oct. 25 guilty plea he admitted not disclosing commissions he received for selling character-education materials to schools.
Petersen is a Republican, and state law requires that an appointed replacement for an elected state official be from the same party.
His elected replacement, state Sen. Dean Martin, legally cannot be appointed to fill the vacancy created by Petersen's departure because he is still in his current legislative term. Martin takes office in January.
Besides revenue director, Hibbs has also served as Department of Administration director and as operations director for the Arizona Senate and as assistant director for the Department of Economic Security.