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Mesa councilman faces ethics charge after DUI arrest

(City of Mesa Photo)

PHOENIX — A Mesa city councilman will face an ethics hearing after he was arrested for DUI earlier this year.

The decision to pursue the charge against Ryan Winkle was made Thursday during a city council meeting.

“As was indicated earlier, we will now work with Mr. Winkle and his attorney to set a hearing that will take place no sooner than 30 days from [Thursday],” Mesa Mayor John Giles said.

Giles said the council’s vote did not determine Winkle’s guilt. The ethics charge could force him out of office or punish him by some other means.

Winkle was arrested May 9. It was his second arrest in eight years.

He took a leave of absence from the council about two weeks later.

“Being a member of the city council is a great responsibility and it’s one I don’t take lightly,” he said when he announced his decision.

“To Mayor 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 planned to return to his seat as soon as his legal matters were sorted.

Winkle was seen “weaving in the roadway” and was stopped by Tempe police when he was arrested. 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 taken to a DUI task force post, a police report said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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