On Tuesday, an Arizona county elections director resigned from her position in Pinal County and accused officials of creating a harmful work environment and politicizing elections.
Geraldine Roll initially took on the position of elections director after the 2022 midterm elections to oversee the recount process. Her resignation was announced by the Pinal County government this week.
On Tuesday, Roll sent a scathing email to county officials announcing her resignation and expressing her dissatisfaction with County Manager Leo Lew and the work environment she experienced.
Roll cited a loss of respect for her superiors after they did not support her at times when she was attacked and criticized. "With no regrets, I quit," Roll wrote.
"When you no longer respect those you work for, it is time to leave. I have watched as you idly stood by when I was attacked," Roll continued. "I cannot work for an individual who does not support me. The environment fostered by your team and the Board of Supervisors is toxic."
Roll went on to also state that the Elections Department "should not be politicized." She specifically accused Lew and the Board of Supervisors of prioritizing "irrational, extremist political party views and rhetoric" over "impartiality, common sense, and dedicated work."
"It is a far reach to see how you will deliver clean elections when you bend to a faction of the Republican party," Roll added in her email. "Clearly, politics are the value this administration desires in a place where politics have no place: elections administration," she explained.
According to Roll, at no time during her career had she faced the level of disrespect, ridicule, intimidation, and "attacks on my reputation and ethics" as she has endured over the past several months. Roll has not been in the position even a full year.
The timing of Roll's resignation is poignant as it comes amid ongoing scrutiny and partisan strain regarding election administration in numerous counties across the state.
In a last expression of contempt, Rolls signed her email "Really, not respectfully." In comments she later gave to the Pinal Central, Rolls stated that she had done nothing wrong and explained that she quit, she did not resign. "I think there's a very big difference," she clarified.
After receiving Roll's email, Lew released a statement thanking the disgruntled election official for her service.
"I want to thank Geri for her service during very challenging times and for the improvements that she identified and began to implement in the Elections Department," Lew's statement said.
"Although I disagree with her assessment, she has been an impactful public servant, and I wish her the best and know that she will continue to do great things in her career."
Roll had been employed by Pinal County since 2013, previously serving as deputy county attorney during which time she provided legal counsel to various departments including the Recorder's Office and Elections Department. She had not overseen any elections since her appointment as elections director at the end of last year.
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