by Jim Nintzel
The Range is receiving word that Arizona Senate President Steve Pierce has removed attorney Jodi Bain and political gadfly Rick Grinnell from the Rio Nuevo Board. We're told that Fletcher McCusker, who has been spearheading downtown redevelopment efforts and chairing the Fox Theatre's board of director, will replace one of them.
Under Bain's leadership, the Rio Nuevo Board had come under increasing criticism for preferring to fight with the city of Tucson and run up legal bills rather than investing in downtown revitalization.
Most recently, the board filed a new $25 million claim against the city of Tucson, blowing up a mediation process that had been going on for months.
More details to come.
ETA: We're hearing that local developer Chris Sheafe will also be joining the Rio Nuevo Board.
There are two more vacancies on the board: Speaker of the House Andy Tobin has to find a replacement for former state lawmaker Jonathan Paton, who stepped down to focus on his congressional run this year, and Gov. Jan Brewer needs to name a replacement for Carlotta Flores, the owner of El Charro Restaurant who has also left the board.