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Surprise Mayor Responds To Ethics Complaint

(Photo courtesy of the city of Surprise)
Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott

The Surprise Vice Mayor recently brought an ethics complaint against the Surprise Mayor, saying she was violating policy by using her official title to campaign and fundraise for city council candidates.

Surprise city council voted 4-3 to reprimand Mayor Sharon Wolcott for violating council policy raised in an ethics complaint filed by Vice Mayor Jim Biundo.

The complaint comes after Wolcott held a fundraiser, put calls out and sent flyers campaigning for candidates running for city council.

One of those candidates is running against Biundo this election season, but he says that’s not the reason he filed the complaint.

“Doing it under the auspices of the title of mayor, it certainly breaches city of Surprise rule of conduct,” Biundo said.

Wolcott commented at the city council meeting, saying the actions being taken were "reprehensible."

“I believe this spectacle only proves that the policy [he] invoked needs work,” Wolcott said.

Those voting against the reprimand said Wolcott hadn’t broken any laws and was allowed under the first amendment to campaign as she did.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.