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Pima County leader to resign months after bicycle crash

April 1, 2022 GMT

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Longtime Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry is resigning more than five months after he was seriously injured when a driver struck him while he was riding his bicycle.

The Board of Supervisors agenda for April 5 lists the immediate acceptance of Huckleberry’s resignation and lists the promotion of interim county administrator Jan Lesher to the permanent position as a possible action item.

Huckleberry was injured on Oct. 23 when a driver made an unsafe lane change and struck another vehicle, which careened into a downtown Tucson intersection and hit Huckleberry. He was wearing a helmet but suffered a brain bleed, a punctured lung and broken ribs.

He was released to home rehabilitation in early January. The county released a statement from Huckleberry’s family on Thursday saying they “have good news to report on Chuck’s recovery” and that he speaks often of returning to work.

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But the statement also said that while his doctors see his optimism as a positive he should focus on his recovery.

Huckleberry was 71 when he was injured and had served as the county administrator for 28 years. In that role, he managed a $2.1 billion budget and oversaw a staff of more than 7,300 employees, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

The Star cited a statement released by the family attorney Friday that said he faced months of additional therapy and “is unable to do the position justice at this time.”

The statement released by attorney Ted Schmidt on behalf of Huckleberry and his wife Maureen said resigning will allow the county to move ahead without the concern over his medical condition and potential return to work.

When he was released from the hospital, his wife said he was undergoing speech, physical and occupational therapy.