PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Even as the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors continues to look for a way to remove embattled Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen from his elected office amid accusations of international adoption fraud, state officials are wondering if they might need to get involved.

Arizona has tossed out a governor.

The Legislature has booted state lawmakers.

But at the county level, there's not much that can be done to remove somebody from office.

[WATCH: Gov. Doug Ducey says he has asked Petersen to step down]

Gov. Doug Ducey said on Tuesday that needs to change, suggesting that lawmakers should craft legislation giving Arizona's counties the power to remove elected leaders who can't do their jobs.

[RELATED: "Board of Supervisors should have a process where they can hold other County officials responsible," lawmaker says]

"What happened to Paul Petersen is a real anomaly in terms of municipal government," he said. "There likely should be a remedy in the law in which to fix a situation like this."

[CONTINUING COVERAGE: Adoption fraud investigation]

For the past two weeks, Petersen has collected on his $77,000 annual salary as he sits in jail on dozens of charges related to his alleged role in an international adoption scheme.

Although he is presumed innocent, Maricopa County supervisors have raised concerns that Petersen cannot do the job he was elected to do while he is incarcerated.

On Wednesday, the board will take its first steps toward potentially suspending Peterson from office.

[RELATED: Supervisors more confident that they can suspend embattled County Assessor Petersen]

Since Petersen's arrest, the five-member board has sought legal advice on ways to kick him out.

After a closed-door meeting last week with their attorneys, Chairman Bill Gates said suspension might be the only option the board has at this time.

"There is an Arizona statute that provides the Board of Supervisors the authority to suspend the Treasurer and the Assessor, that's a fact," Gates said at the time.

 


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