Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from May 13-15
PHOENIX — Metro Phoenix witnessed the hottest weekend of the year so far, high ranking Phoenix officials and police chief Jeri Williams are being sued by three former assistant chiefs, and eastbound U.S. 60 in Tempe reopens after a week-long closure due to a water line break.
Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.
As summer approaches, the Valley continues to heat up.
Metro Phoenix reached 105 degrees on Sunday just after 2:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, the hottest temperature recorded so far this year.
On Saturday, the temperature reached 104 degrees around 3:15 p.m. before quickly dipping down again.
Before Sunday, the hottest day for Phoenix in 2022 was on May 7 when it hit 100 degrees around 2:12 p.m.
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, her executive assistant Michael Kurtenbach, City Manager Edward Zuercher and the city are being sued by three former assistant chiefs for defamatory statements made against them relating to charges brought on to protestors who were arrested in October 2020.
The lawsuit — brought on by commanders John Collins, Lawrence Hein and Gabriel Lopez — alleges Williams wrongfully demoted them for not informing her and Kurtenbach of the decision the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office made by bringing on gang-related charges to the protestors, according to court documents.
On Oct. 17, 2020, masked protestors were arrested by police officers when authorities believed they were intending to obstruct an oncoming light rail train, court documents show. They were arrested for unlawful assembly, participating in a riot, obstructing a thoroughfare and aggravated assault.
The eastbound lanes of U.S. 60 in Tempe were back open Sunday following a closure that lasted just over a week due to a water line break.
The lanes were reopened between Interstate 10 and McClintock Drive, along with the eastbound I-10 on-ramp at Broadway Road and the southbound State Route 143 on-ramp at University Drive, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.
Westbound U.S. 60 remains closed between the Loop 101 Price Freeway and McClintock Drive, in addition to the eastbound U.S. 60 off-ramp at McClintock Drive as Tempe’s contractors stage equipment for ongoing repair work on the westbound lanes, ADOT said.
There is no estimated time to reopen the lanes as crews continue reconstructing the westbound freeway near the McClintock overpass, ADOT said.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is trying to locate an inmate who assumed the identity of a different person in jail and was mistakenly released Thursday morning.
Anthony Pena was released at 2:20 a.m. and it took seven hours for MCSO to realize the mistake, the agency said in a press release.
Pena, who was booked by Phoenix police on a warrant for failure to appear and drug charges, took the identification of another inmate before being released, according to MCSO.
Agency detectives are investigating the reason for Pena’s mistaken release.
A 20-year-old man was arrested Friday night in connection to a fatal shooting that took place at a Circle K in Mesa last month, authorities said.
Adam Gomez was found on Main Street and Country Club Drive around 9 p.m., more than two weeks after the shooting of 30-year-old Jose Gutierrez took place, police said in a press release.
He was booked on one count of second degree murder, armed robbery and prohibited possessor, the Mesa Police Department said in the release.