Tempe City Councilmember Kolby Granville removed from office
Tempe, AZ – The Tempe City Council has voted to remove Councilmember Kolby Granville from office for violating the Council’s Code of Conduct related to incidents of alleged sexual impropriety and providing alcohol to underage women.
For the first time, the Council employed its voter-approved authority to remove a Councilmember from office, “with due process and clear and convincing evidence, for unlawful conduct involving moral turpitude, fraud or corruption.”
According to the Charter, it takes five of seven Councilmembers to vote for removal. Tonight’s Special Meeting vote was 6-0, with Granville abstaining.
The removal is effective immediately.
Mayor Mark Mitchell announced after the vote that the City Council will hold a Special Meeting at 4 p.m. Monday, April 15, to discuss next steps. The meeting will take place in City Council Chambers, 31 E. Fifth St. According to the Charter, the Council can appoint a replacement within 30 days of a vacancy. If a replacement is not appointed within 30 days, they can call for a special election to be held no sooner than 90 days after the vacancy.
At tonight’s meeting, Attorney Sarah L. Barnes, who was hired by the city to investigate a possible Code of Conduct violation, recapped her findings for the Council. Barnes also made a presentation at an April 4 Council Meeting. At both meetings, she explained her conclusion that Granville violated the City Council’s Code of Conduct. Barnes had conducted hours of interviews, reviews of a Phoenix Police Department investigation of the matter and materials related to the Council Code of Conduct.
Granville had allegedly served alcohol to underage women and allegedly engaged in unwanted sexual advances. The allegations were investigated in 2018 by the Phoenix Police Department, which did not pursue criminal charges because the three complainants participated in police interviews but declined to aide in prosecution.
The Council Code of Conduct was established in 2009 and amended in 2018 to ensure that City Councilmembers could be held accountable for the same ethical standards that City of Tempe employees must follow. The code referred to the city’s Personnel Rules and Regulations and its Code of Ethics, which pertain to the conduct of city employees. Councilmembers reasoned that they should uphold the same values and behaviors that are required of city employees. The Code of Conduct included a defined investigative and disciplinary process for alleged violations.
In the past, the maximum penalty the Council could impose on one of its members for a Code of Conduct violation was formal censure. However, the November 2018 City Charter amendment allowed removal from office. The question passed with nearly 79 percent of the vote.
Granville was a City Councilmember since 2012. His current term would have ended in July 2020.
Media contact: Nikki Ripley, City of Tempe, 480-313-8850