from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No.
LC2014-000545-001 The Honorable Crane McClennen, Judge,
M. Shaw, Attorney at Law, Mesa By Thomas M. Shaw Counsel for
Maricopa Integrated Health System, Phoenix By Martin C. Demos
Co-Counsel for Defendant/Appellee.
Dickinson Wright PLLC, Phoenix By Gary L. Birnbaum
(dec'd), Anne L. Tiffen, Bradley A. Burns Co-Counsel for
Presiding Judge Diane M. Johnsen delivered the opinion of the
Court, in which Judge Jon W. Thompson and Judge Charles W.
Gurtler, Jr. joined. 
Mary Coombs challenges the superior court's order
dismissing for lack of jurisdiction her appeal of her
termination by the Maricopa County Special Health Care
District. For the following reasons, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The District is a special health care district and a
political subdivision of the State. See Ariz. Rev.
Stat. ("A.R.S.") §§ 48-5501 to -5507
(2016). Its elected Board of Directors created the
Maricopa County Special Health Care District Employee Merit
System. See A.R.S. § 48-5541.01(M)(1) (2016).
Pursuant to the rules of the Merit System, a covered employee
terminated for cause may appeal the dismissal to the
District's Chief Executive Officer. The appeal is
assigned to a hearing officer, who hears evidence, then
prepares proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and
recommendations for the CEO. Under the rules, the CEO may (1)
adopt or modify the hearing officer's report; (2) decide
the case on the record, with or without taking additional
evidence; or (3) return the case to the hearing officer with
directions. The CEO's decision is final.
The District dismissed Coombs from her employment, and she
appealed. After a three-day hearing, the hearing officer
recommended the appeal be dismissed and the termination
affirmed. The CEO upheld the dismissal.
Coombs brought this action in the superior court as an appeal
for judicial review of an administrative decision pursuant to
A.R.S. § 12-904(A) (2016). The District moved to
dismiss, arguing the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the
appeal. The court granted the motion and entered judgment
pursuant to Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 54(c). Coombs
timely appealed. We have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S.
§ 12-2101(A)(1) (2016).
Jurisdiction Under the ...