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Mesa city councilman takes leave of absence following DUI arrest

(City of Mesa Photo)

PHOENIX — A Mesa city councilman said Wednesday he would take a voluntary leave of absence to deal with the legal ramifications of a recent DUI arrest.

During a brief press conference with his wife, Ryan Winkle apologized to both his constituents and fellow council members for his mistake.

“Being a member of the city council is a great responsibility and it’s one I don’t take lightly,” he said. “To (Mesa) Mayor (John) Giles, my fellow council members … I apologize for both the bad light I have brought to this chamber and added pressure that I have given you individually.”

Winkle also said he made hundreds of calls to people to personally apologize.

The councilman plans to return to his seat as soon as his legal matters are sorted.

“It is my most fervent hope to make amends of the violation of your trust so that you may once again hold me in esteem,” he said, adding that he is cooperating with Tempe’s case and will accept the court’s decision.

Winkle was arrested in the early hours of May 7 near Baseline Road and Mill Avenue.

He was seen “weaving in the roadway” and was stopped by Tempe police. Spokeswoman Det. Lily Duran said Winkle showed signs and symptoms “consistent with impairment” during the stop, including bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.

He denied drinking and agreed to field sobriety tests and, based on his performance, was soon after transported to a DUI task force post, the police report said.

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