Kolby Granville seeking $100K over his ouster from Tempe City Council
PHOENIX – Kolby Granville is seeking around $100,000 in compensation from the city of Tempe, claiming his civil rights were violated when he was kicked off the City Council earlier this year over allegations of sexual impropriety.
In April, the Council unanimously voted to remove Granville after he’d been accused of sexual assault and providing alcohol to minors.
Last week, Granville filed a notice of claim with the city that said he’s suffered more than $2.5 million in damages “based on damages to my reputation and its effect on my ability to find employment as a teacher, lawyer, or elected official.”
He said in the notice he’ll settle the claim for $99,999.98 plus “a letter of apology signed by the City Manager, on behalf of the City government and the City Council, for violation of my civil rights.”
In Arizona, a notice of claim must be submitted before a lawsuit can be filed against a public entity. Granville said that if he ends up filing a lawsuit he won’t settle for the amount stated in the claim.
In the notice, Granville argues the city violated Arizona open meeting laws leading up to the vote to remove him and says he wasn’t given proper opportunity to defend himself.
The city issued a statement Tuesday saying Granville’s notice “contains false, misleading and potentially defamatory allegations” and his dismissal was in accordance with the city charter.
The statement said the city wouldn’t publicly address each allegation but would “vigorously defend against these allegations if they appear in the form of an actual lawsuit.”
The city provided KTAR News 92.3 FM with a redacted copy of the notice of claim, with details of accusations against Mayor Mike Mitchell, Councilman Joel Navarro and the name of a councilwomen mentioned by Granville blacked out.
Granville was fired from his teaching job at Tempe Preparatory Academy in December 2017, one month before the allegations against him were made public. The school said only the dismissal didn’t involve current students.
The Phoenix Police Department closed the case against Granville in January 2018 because no victims wanted to press charges, according to documents.
Attorney Sarah Barnes, who was hired by the city to investigate Granville for council code of conduct violations, said he told her he never gave alcohol to minors.
But Barnes also said Granville “never unequivocally denied” other allegations she questioned him about.
Before Granville was removed from office, the city released the documents related to Barnes’ investigation, including the police report, which has graphic details.
“The receipt of the NOC [notice of claim] follows Mr. Granville’s firing from Tempe Preparatory Academy, his voluntary surrender of his Arizona teaching certificate and being actively investigated by the State Bar of Arizona for the same misconduct that resulted in his removal from office,” the city said in its statement Tuesday.