Mayor, colleagues discuss future of Mesa city councilman

- In a regularly scheduled meeting for the Mesa City Council, the first item on the agenda was Councilman Winkle and what to do next.

"I think we all know that Councilman Winkle's recent arrest for suspicion of DUI raises a lot of questions," said John Giles, mayor of Mesa.

Questions, Mayor Giles says, that won't be answered until the investigation is complete. It all started on May 7 when Tempe police pulled the councilman and his wife over, saying he was speeding, swerving and almost hit three people.

A dash cam caught their exchange with the councilman slurring his words.

"You almost missed that red light and there was somebody crossing," the officer said.

"Yeah, sorry, we were yelling and it was crazy," Winkle replied.

No charges have been filed yet, which is something city attorney Jim Smith says needs to happen in order to have a disciplinary hearing. It's then that the public can weight in and Winkle's future with the city can be decided.

"Council is the judge of the fitness of its members, so ultimately council will make that determination," Smith said.

For now, Winkle's colleagues did accept a tearful request that he made in a news conference yesterday.

"Mayor Giles and fellow councilmembers, I ask that you accept my volunteer leave of absence from the public duties as a member of this city council while I resolve the legal issues before me and undertake counseling," Winkle said.

Everyone unanimously agreed, adding they're taking the allegations very seriously, but for now they will wait for the conclusion of the investigation.

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