A state official's secretary complained that Gov. Evan Mecham and his attorney were "hounding" her about an alleged death threat against another official, according to testimony Monday at the governor's impeachment trial.
Peggy Griffith quoted her secretary, Terri Fields, as saying, "They just keep asking me about the conversation you had with Lee Watkins," who is accused of making the alleged threat.Mecham is charged with ordering Department of Public Safety Director Ralph Milstead not to cooperate with the attorney general's investigation of the alleged threat by Watkins, then head of state prison construction, against former top Mecham aide Donna Carlson.
It was Griffith who reported the threat, and Fields testified for the defense earlier in the trial in an effort to discredit Griffith's testimony. Fields said Griffith was sometimes forgetful and tended to exaggerate things.
However, Griffith testified Monday as a prosecution rebuttal witness that she has a good memory.
At the time of the alleged Nov. 12 threat, Carlson was about to testify before a state grand jury on the governor's unreported $350,000 campaign loan.
The governor's defense attorney, Fred Craft, also is expected to be called to the stand before testimony is completed on the count involving the death threat. Craft attended a crucial meeting at which Mecham was told about the alleged threat.
Mecham also is accused in the impeachment trial of concealing the loan and misusing $80,000 in state funds by loaning the money to his auto dealership. Opening arguments were expected this week on the $80,000 loan.