Brewer defends ouster of redistricting chair

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PHOENIX --As criticism continues to mount over Arizona lawmakers' decision to remove the chairwoman of the state's Independent Redistricting Commission, Gov. Jan Brewer says she stands by the ouster.

On Tuesday the State Senate Republicans, at Brewer's encouragement, voted to impeach IRC commissioner Colleen Mathis.

Brewer spoke on the Alan Colmes' radio show Friday, saying "I as governor believe truly what I did what was the right thing to do,"

The move has come under fire because the voter-approved redistricting commission is supposed to be completely independent of partisan politics.

One Democratic leader has gone so far as to suggest Brewer should be removed from office for firing Mathis.

“I think the people of Arizona should consider impeaching Jan Brewer,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-NY) told reporters at a news briefing.

During the radio interview, Colmes grilled Brewer on what Mathis had done that justified her impeachment. 

"Well she acted inappropriately," Brewer responded. "It was very pretty much obvious that she was in communications and doing things not in the public."

Brewer accused Mathis of holding meetings behind closed doors and failing to follow the constitutionally mandated "grid" guidelines.

When pressed by Colmes on how Mathis acted egregiously, Brewer responded, "I wish I had my letter here so I could read from it."

Ray Bladine, the executive director of the IRC, said Brewer and the state senate acted without justification.

"To say that the commission did things not in public, when all the meetings are on our Web page, we broadcast all our meetings," Bladine said.

On Friday the IRC filed a motion asking the Arizona Supreme Court to put the removal of Mathis on hold.

"The Governor has removed a sitting commissioner and paralyzed the Commission’s ability to continue its work because she disapproves of the manner in which the Commission has deliberated about and decided on its single legislative responsibility, the drawing of congressional and legislative districts," the filing reads.

A conference call between all parties and a judge has been set for Monday morning.