Di Cic­cio doesn’t dis­miss pe­ti­tion, still takes credit

The Arizona Republic - - AZ POLITICS -

To the non-vic­tor goes the press re­lease ... On Tues­day, a cit­i­zen pe­ti­tion seek­ing to cre­ate a civil­ian over­sight board for Phoenix po­lice failed by a City Coun­cil vote of 8-1.

Though coun­cil mem­bers had sig­naled the pe­ti­tion was doomed, po­lice sup­port­ers and pro­test­ers weighed in on the mat­ter into the late evening hours.

Af­ter the meet­ing ad­journed, Phoenix City Coun­cil­man Sal Di Cic­cio cir­cu­lated a news re­lease, tweet and Face­book post: “BREAK­ING: Di Cic­cio Puts Stop to Panel In­ves­ti­gat­ing Po­lice”.

But Di Cic­cio was the lone hold­out in the vote that dis­missed the cit­i­zen pe­ti­tion. The mo­tion to do that was made by City Coun­cil­woman De­bra Stark. A sub­sti­tute mo­tion from Di Cic­cio ac­tu­ally failed, 6-3.

At the meet­ing, Di Cic­cio had ex­plained that he thought the coun­cil’s ac­tion should go fur­ther.

“I’m go­ing to make a sec­ondary mo­tion that we end the process for the civil­ian re­view board to­day,” he said. “That’s my mo­tion.”

The mo­tion would not — and could not — pre­vent more cit­i­zen pe­ti­tions on the mat­ter. It would have, how­ever, called off a study un­der­way via Phoenix City Man­ager Ed Zuercher’s staff. Stark’s mo­tion doesn’t go that far.

De­spite clash­ing with Phoenix po­lice on pen­sion pay, DiCic­cio re­cently has made sup­port of Phoenix of­fi­cers a key plat­form.

In the days be­fore the vote, DiCic­cio used a pe­ti­tion hand­writ­ten by lib­eral gad­fly Leonard Clark as a call to ac­tion to his thou­sands of so­cial-me­dia fol­low­ers. He la­beled it a “new at­tack on our po­lice planned for mayor’s pol­icy agenda,” lev­eled by the “rad­i­cal left.” He urged po­lice sup­port­ers to at­tend.

City char­ter re­quires that city coun­cil act on any cit­i­zen pe­ti­tion within 15 days. So that it was added to the pol­icy agenda isn’t it­self sig­nif­i­cant.

Asked about the news re­lease Fri­day, DiCic­cio ac­knowl­edged that he shouldn’t have claimed all the credit.

“It hap­pened quickly, it just came from the staff,” he said.

“It went out lit­er­ally min­utes from the vote,” he said, adding that he’s been the most “vo­cal” sup­porter of Phoenix po­lice.

Ken Crane, pres­i­dent of Phoenix po­lice’s rank-and-file union, said there may have been some “ex­ag­ger­a­tion” in DiCic­cio’s claims of vic­tory. He does, how­ever, be­lieve DiCic­cio’s sup­port is ben­e­fi­cial.

“What I think he’s say­ing is, ‘ Let’s knock off th­ese friv­o­lous stud­ies where we’re try­ing to pla­cate,’ ” Crane said.

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Mark your bal­lots ... Al­most a year be­fore the next elec­tion, in­cum­bent Democrats in deep-blue cen­tral Phoenix are team­ing up to fend off po­ten­tial ri­vals.

Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict 24’s stan­dard bear­ers, Rep. Lela Al­sto­nand Rep. Ken Clark, have an­nounced they are run­ning as a “slate” with John Glenn, an ar­chi­tect and ac­tivist. The dis­trict, which en­com­passes Phoenix’s his­toric neigh­bor­hoods and parts of Scotts­dale, has an open spot given in­cum­bent Sen. Katie Hobbs’ plans to leave next year to run for Ari­zona sec­re­tary of state.

Al­ston is switch­ing cham­bers to run for Hobbs’ Se­nate seat while Clark and Glenn vie for the area’s two seats in the Ari­zona House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Their slate an­nounce­ment dis­pleased sev­eral well-known Democrats who are run­ning against them. One chal­lenger de­scribed the race as a con­test be­tween party in­sid­ers and out­sider can­di­dates.

“The slate is the es­tab­lish­ment folks who are run­ning for of­fice,” said John Bar­well, an at­tor­ney and former Marine run­ning for the House. “The rest of us are largely new­com­ers and we are the vot­ers’ al­ter­na­tive choice.”

Other can­di­dates for the area’s two House seats in­clude Jen­nifer Long­don, a writer and ad­vo­cate; and Amish Shah, a doc­tor. More can­di­dates could emerge.

Al­ston also faces a pri­mary chal­lenge from Nate Whit­ten, a real-es­tate agent, in the race for the dis­trict’s Se­nate seat.

Who said Ari­zona Repub­li­cans will get to have all the pri­mary-fight fun next year?

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And your lit­tle dog, too! ... Let this be a les­son to you, cities: Tuc­son got grounded last month for think­ing it was too big for its britches. Now, it’s los­ing some of its al­lowance as well.

Tuc­son has agreed to pay the state $100,000 in le­gal fees af­ter los­ing a suit over whether Ari­zona cities have the right to ig­nore state laws in mat­ters of lo­cal in­ter­est.

The state high court put the city in its place, at least when it comes to de­stroy­ing guns.

Tuc­son had ar­gued that the state Con­sti­tu­tion gives it, as a char­ter city, con­trol over lo­cal mat­ters, re­gard­less of state law. The court nar­rowed that con­trol, say­ing it doesn’t ap­ply to po­lice mat­ters.

It said Tuc­son’s 12-year-old gun or­di­nance al­low­ing for the de­struc­tion of con­fis­cated guns con­flicts with a 2016 state law that re­quires cities, towns and coun­ties to as­sure their lo­cal or­di­nances com­ply with all state laws. An­other Ari­zona law re­quires such weapons to be sold.

Tuc­son at­tor­ney Richard Roll­man, who rep­re­sents the city, sent a let­ter to the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice Tues­day con­firm­ing that the city has agreed to a set­tle­ment over le­gal fees.

Over the past five years, Tuc­son had de­stroyed about 4,800 un­claimed or for­feited guns, ac­cord­ing to court records.

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Quote of the week

“The his­tory books will write of this con­ven­tion that on this his­toric date we gave re­birth to a new na­tion.”

— David Gulden­schuh, a con­sti­tu­tional law at­tor­ney and del­e­gate to the Bal­anced Bud­get Amend­ment Plan­ning Con­ven­tion that con­cluded Fri­day in Phoenix.

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