The group, Oro Valley Citizens for Ethical Government (OVCEG), said they came 38 signatures short of forcing a recall election of Councilman Mike Zinkin.

OVCEG had until Feb. 11 to turn in 2,094 signatures from registered voters living in Oro Valley town limits. Oro Valley Town Clerk Julie Bower said no petitions were submitted by the 5 p.m. deadline.

According to a press release from OVCEG members Jane and Larry Burge, while the effort came up short, they appreciate the support from those “who had the courage and moral conviction to sign indicating that they will not tolerate this behavior by their elected official.”

The citizen’s group accused Zinkin of misconduct after allegations of sexual harassment from two female employees surfaced, and the Oro Valley Police Officers Union filed a harassment complaint as well. The information became public after Burge submitted a public information request regarding the behavior of every Oro Valley council member.

Zinkin said the allegations were unfair, and while he meant no disrespect to the female employees accusing him of sexual harassment, he has apologized.

The citizen’s group was not the only one pushing to have Zinkin face a recall election. Fellow council members also spoke out against the first-term council member. 

Mayor Satish Hiremath wrote an Op-ed that appeared in The Explorer in December, and council members Mary Snider and Joe Hornat also said Zinkin’s conduct does not make him fit to serve on the Oro Valley council.

In an interview prior to the Feb. 11 deadline, Zinkin said the efforts by fellow council members to get him recalled do nothing but hurt Oro Valley’s reputation, noting that it could stall economic development if developers see that the local council can’t get along.

While the recall election is not moving forward, four council members are up for reelection in 2014.

Hiremath, Snider, Hornat and Councilman Lou Waters are up for reelection.

(1) comment


Now that we have seen the report submitted to the Town by an independent outside attorney. I think it is fair to drop the term "allegations". Employees (more than two) were harassed and the harassment was of a sexual nature. Unfortunately the public did not avail themselves to the information that was available. There was also a hesitency by the media to factually report the incidents.

So now we must subject our Town employees to "a culture of distrust and fear of retaliation".

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