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Mesa Council Moves Forward With Disciplinary Hearing For Winkle

Ryan Winkle
(Photo courtesy of Mesa)
Ryan Winkle

The Mesa City Council is considering removing one of its own members.

Councilman Ryan Winkle was arrested in May on suspicion of impaired driving. His blood-alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit.

This is Winkle’s second arrest for driving under the influence, and the current case is making its way through court in Tempe.

The Mesa City Council accepted Winkle’s voluntary suspension and retained special counsel to handle the case.

Attorney Charles Wirken told council members that Winkle was eligible for disciplinary action under the city charter.

“He failed to maintain the high standards expected of council members and he failed to honor the code’s primary values of honesty and integrity,” Wirken said.

At a meeting on Thursday, the council heard from members of the public in support of and against Winkle. Mesa School Board Member Kiana Maria Sears asked the council to allow Winkle to remain in office and hold him responsible with other disciplinary action.

Lydia Kearney lives in Winkle’s district. She was less forgiving. "Even if he remains on — as far as I’m concerned — he’s a repeat criminal drunk and he will not represent me,” Kearny said.

The council voted to charge Winkle with conduct constituting grounds for forfeiture of office or other disciplinary action. A disciplinary hearing to decide on action against Winkle will be held in August.

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.