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Former Arizona House Speaker Joe Lane dies

PHOENIX -- Former Arizona House Speaker Joe Lane, who presided over the 1988 impeachment of Gov. Evan Mecham, has died. He was 78.

Lane's brother, C.B. "Doc" Lane, saids he died Thursday at a Tucson rehabilitation center. He had suffered from Parkinson's disease for about a decade and severe back problems in recent months led to hospitalizations. He was found in a chair in his room after a therapy session.

Voters penalized the Republican for his role in Mecham's impeachment, refusing to send him back to the Legislature from his southeastern Arizona district in the September 1988 primary. He later worked as an aide to Gov. Jane Hull and for the state agriculture department.

Lane grew up on a ranch north of Willcox.

In addition to his brother, Lane is survived by a son, daughter, stepdaughter and five grandchildren.

Plans for a memorial service are pending.

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