Home Editor's Picks Mayor Giles, Councilman Thompson speak out on arrest of Councilman Winkle

Mayor Giles, Councilman Thompson speak out on arrest of Councilman Winkle

District 3 Mesa Councilman Ryan Winkle. (City of Mesa)

Mayor John Giles just released a statement this evening regarding the DUI arrest of District 3 Mesa Councilman Ryan Winkle:

“I like Ryan. He ran a great, grassroots campaign and works hard for his constituents. But Ryan made a serious mistake that comes with serious consequences. My hope is that he carefully considers what is best for himself, his family and the community.

“Based upon concerns about Ryan’s ability to carry out his responsibilities as a member of the City Council with these charges pending, my council colleagues and I will discuss this situation during our regularly scheduled study session on Thursday, May 18.”

In addition, District 6 Mesa Councilman Kevin Thompson wrote on his Facebook page four hours ago:

“As many of you have seen, one of my colleagues was stopped in Tempe this past weekend and arrested for suspected DUI. I know a lot of you have sent emails to the mayor and the council seeking our colleagues resignation.

“All elected officials should be held to a higher standard. Period. But every citizen deserves due process, and our colleague is no different. We all make mistakes and ultimately until a court or voters decide otherwise, we have to respect the process.

“I don’t expect my colleague to receive any special treatment that any other individual in the same situation would receive, but we must allow the judicial system to work and allow due process to be served.

“I would also like to commend the Tempe Police Department and their officers for their professionalism throughout the process.”

On May 7, at approximately 1 a.m., Winkle was arrested for driving under the influence near Mill Avenue and Baseline Road in Tempe, after he was seen weaving in the roadway, according to a Tempe Police Department report.

During the vehicle stop, Winkle exhibited signs and symptoms consistent with impairment, said Detective Lily Duran, spokesperson for the Tempe Police Department. She said Winkle was transported to the East Valley DUI Task Force Command Post where he was processed and cooperative with officers. Duran said samples of his blood were submitted for analysis and those blood test results are not yet available.

Winkle was issued a criminal citation for Driving Under the Influence (impaired by slightest degree and driving with BAC greater than .08) and released at the scene with an upcoming court date as is normal procedure when investigating DUIs, Duran said.

The police report says that Winkle’s wife, Ericka Varela, was the passenger in the couple’s 2006 BMW Winkle was driving at the time. The report says she called for a ride home after Winkle was arrested.

“During a traffic stop early Sunday morning in Tempe, I was processed and cited for Driving Under the Influence. I understand that this is a very serious matter and I am cooperating fully with the Tempe Police Department in every way possible,” Winkle said in a statement on Monday.

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