|Krieger asked to recuse himself|
Councilmember Paul Johnson asks Mayor Krieger to recuse himself from discussion during Wednesday's special session. Krieger refused saying he had consulted a lawyer who told him it was not a conflict of interest.
|Mayor's feelings on investigation (Jan. 25, 2012 meeting)|
Mayor Alan Krieger reiterates his position that anyone with knowledge of any wrongdoing should take accusations to the authorities and not place them in front of the council.
|McClendon on investigation|
Yuma City Councilmember Leslie McClendon speaks at Wednesday's special meeting on the public's want for open government and why an investigation of the mayor may be the next step to "clear the air."
The council votes to place item on next meeting agenda to reconsider opening an investigation into allegations of misconduct against mayor Al Krieger. Krieger, Brooks and Johnson stated their reasons for their positions.
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The Yuma City Council voted 6-0 to reconsider opening an investigation into allegations of misconduct against mayor Al Krieger at its special session Wednesday night.
The item will now be placed on the city council agenda for discussion and possible action at its next meeting Feb. 1.
The Yuma Sun has recently obtained a copy of 17 allegations. According to the document, Krieger:
• Ordered the city clerk to provide executive session copies related to the Riverfront Development.
• Directed former Yuma police chief Jerry Geier, in violation of City Charter Chapter VII Section 11, to start a new program to encourage students to walk to school.
• Tasked one or two police officers to provide him with information directly.
• Discussed executive session details in violation of open meeting laws.
• Harassed a city employee to the point of crying.
Click here for a complete list of allegations (PDF).
City officials declined to comment on the document.
Wednesday's meeting began with a heated exchange between Krieger and City Administrator Greg Wilkinson when the mayor demanded to know which council member was responsible for calling the special session.
Councilman Paul Johnson interjected and asked for a point of order since the meeting was quickly devolving into disorder as both men were talking over one another.
“Mr. Mayor, I ask that you obey the laws of the state of Arizona and declare a conflict of interest on a matter directly related to an investigation on you,” Johnson said.
Krieger asserted that his legal council informed him that his participation in the meeting did not violate any conflict of interest laws.
Eventually, Wilkinson said that Councilman Edward Thomas was the person who asked that measure be reconsidered.
For an item to be reconsidered by the council, a member who voted on the prevailing side had to make the request.
“Initially, I voted no because all the evidence that was presented at the meeting was all hearsay,” Thomas said. “But the next day, people on the street were coming up to me and telling me that they knew people who work at the city and they had this and that happen to them. So I decided that we had to look at this again because this is serious.”
Throughout the meeting, Krieger said numerous times that he could not receive a fair investigation from the council and referenced unnamed individuals in the community who were making allegations from the shadows, but failed to produce hard evidence.
“Allegations are one thing ... but no one tonight has produced any evidence,” Krieger said. “Evidence is not hearsay ... If some one has been wronged and they have evidence, they should bring that forward. But they should bring that forward to the appropriate agency.”
But Councilwoman Leslie McClendon responded that without allegations, there can be no inquiry.
“Allegations are the stepping-stone to the next level where evidence comes from,” McClendon said. “No one is probably going to move forward from their fear until they know that something is in place.”
She said this was the process the council had to follow according to the charter so that people who have claimed to have information may take their allegations to another investigative agency if the evidence warrants.
“But right now we are doing nothing but talking back and forth. I have nothing against anybody on this council and I am not afraid of any threats. And believe me I have gotten threats by phone and at my front door. That's not going to make me change my mind ... (even if) it means the investigation needs to move forward to get the attorney general involved, then that's what we need to do because it clears the air.”
Shortly thereafter, Thomas motioned for a vote on the measure, which was approved by every member except Krieger, who abstained.