Recall effort launched as battle brews in Oro Valley

Marcelino Benito

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Recall effort launched as battle brews in Oro Valley

CREATED Oct. 4, 2013

ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - In the small town of Oro Valley, the city council oversees the police department. It's why when council member Mike Zinkin made a request for information about the department's overtime spending, he didn't think it'd be a big deal.

"It's raised some heckles," said Zinkin. "But I don't know why?"

"We'll always provide any information when asked and in this instance we did," said Oro Valley PD Lt. Kara Riley.

OVPD says it had no problem with the request. But in a memo 9OYS obtained, the Oro Valley Police Officers Association disagrees writing "Zinkin is targeting commissioned personnel of OVPD" with his request. They write, he's "engaging in a constant and concerted attack" on police officers. They end the memo writing, Zinkin is "putting OV police and residents into unneeded danger".

"The accusation that I have no regard for the public safety of citizens in this town and the officers is ludicrous," said Zinkin.

The police union declined a chance to go on camera, but it stands by its memo. But say it's not the request for information that is concerning, but the way Zinkin went about it. Meanwhile the Oro Valley Police Department is steering clear of the debate.

"There's nothing to hide," said Lt. Riley. "We don't take offense to requests for info. We're going to provide whatever information is asked of us."

Zinkin has received the overtime documents he requested and is reviewing them. All of this while what the union calls an unrelated recall effort mounts against him.

"I'm not going to stop," said Zinkin. "I'm not going to be intimidated not to do it. "Whether I get to the bottom of this as a councilman or as a citizens because I've been removed as councilman. We'll get to the bottom of this."

The recall paperwork cites behavior unbecoming of a public official and disregard for public safety as reasons for the recall. They need to collect approximately 2,000 signatures. A recall election would cost the taxpayers $70,000.