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Mesa City Council Accepts Ryan Winkle's Voluntary Suspension

Ryan Winkle
(Photo courtesy of Mesa)
Ryan Winkle

On Wednesday, Mesa City Councilman Ryan Winkle announced he was taking a leave of absence to seek counseling. Winkle was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The council agreed to excuse Winkle’s absence until his case is fully adjudicated.

Mesa Mayor John Giles said the council is taking the matter seriously and asked for patience.

“We need to avoid rushing to judgement in this situation," Giles said at the Thursday morning study session. "We need to respect one another’s due process.”

Giles said the arrest has raised a lot of questions as to what the council show do moving forward.

Mesa City Attorney Jim Smith told the council the city charter sets out a process to discipline council members.

"It’s akin to the impeachment and conviction process that you see on the federal or state level,” Smith said.

Smith said there’s a two-step process. First, charges are brought in a hearing before the council. Then there are several types of actions the council could take at a disciplinary hearing ranging from a suspension to removal from office.

The council did not take any action or hear public comment, but Giles said the public will have a chance to give their input in the future.

Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.