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Impeached Nevada Controller Dies

July 12, 2006

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) _ Nevada’s impeached state controller died Tuesday after suffering a massive heart attack over the weekend, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Kathy Augustine, 50, was with her family when she died, Washoe Medical Center spokeswoman Alexia Bratiotis said.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said in a statement he was ``deeply saddened by the distressing news of someone so young and vibrant as Kathy passing away so unexpectedly.″

In 2002, Augustine became the first constitutional officer in Nevada history to be impeached and convicted. The Nevada Assembly impeached her for using state equipment for her 2002 campaign, and the state Senate censured her but did not remove her from office.

Her husband, Chaz Higgs, blamed campaign stress for her medical problems. Augustine had been campaigning for the state treasurer’s job because term limits prevented her from seeking a third four-year term as controller.

Augustine was found unconscious by her husband in their home early Saturday. She never regained consciousness and had been on a respirator at the hospital.

The governor was expected to quickly name her successor, spokesman Steve George said.

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