Council member Mike Zinkin has demonstrated conduct unbecoming of an elected official that has led to fact-based allegations of harassment that are sexual in nature, and in uttering racially insensitive comments.  In his awkward and embarrassing attempts to brush the resulting criticism and complaints under the rug, Mike Zinkin is being disingenuous and deceitful with the public.

The reason Mike Zinkin has attacked the police department has nothing to do with police overtime or with his oversight responsibility as a council member.  On two occasions, Mr. Zinkin has stated that he understands that police overtime is not an issue.  So why is he persisting in his attacks on our police department?  It’s simple.  There have been two complaints leveled at Mr. Zinkin.  One of the complaints is from a female police officer.  Mr. Zinkin is attempting to retaliate against her.  He has stated that if there is an opportunity to downgrade her position as a police officer, then so be it.  Mr. Zinkin is using his position and the ruse of accountability to intimidate her.

If Mr. Zinkin were an employee of the town his behavior would be dealt with swiftly and severely under town policy.  Unfortunately the rules don’t apply to him.  He knows this and he continues to create an atmosphere of oppression and intimidation.  Because of this, two women are fearful of losing their jobs.  If this were a private sector matter, Mr. Zinkin would have been terminated by now.  Why should it be different in the public sector?  Your elected officials ought to be held to a higher standard.  The voting members of our community can hold Mike Zinkin accountable and thereby give relief to the employees he has harassed.

There are additional examples of the arrogant and reprehensible behavior exhibited by Mike Zinkin.  They include the recent investigation of a hit and run accident, that revealed he had failed in a timely fashion to notify the owner of the vehicle he hit.  This incident was reported in The Explorer, and the account of Mr. Zinkin has been refuted.  When the facts are inconvenient, Mr. Zinkin changes his story, or apologizes without changing his attitude or his behavior.  Little wonder that Mr. Zinkin has stated that he doesn’t like communicating by email, because it leaves a paper trail.  The deviousness of Mr. Zinkin includes his attempt to solicit another council member to request the overtime reports from the Oro Valley Police Department, because he didn’t want to arouse suspicion.  Is this the type of characteristic behavior the residents of Oro Valley want to condone in an elected official?

Recently the insensitivity of Mike Zinkin hit a new low.  When the Town of Oro Valley received positive recognition for escorting and honoring the fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots from the Yarnell Hill tragedy, Mike Zinkin asked how it helped the residents of Oro Valley.  Mike Zinkin wants you to believe that he is the choice of the people.  Yet in person and in practice he uses the tactics of a bully to silence his critics.  He is a disgrace and does not deserve his status as a council member.  Mike Zinkin should be recalled from office.  Anyone who comes to the defense of Mike Zinkin ought to consider their own judgment and sensibilities.

This matter of concern with Mike Zinkin goes beyond philosophical views and differences regarding public policy.  This unfortunate circumstance is a predicament of his own making, by not treating people with respect, and in particular demeaning women.  Council members sign a code of conduct when elected.  The expectation is that we must adhere to it.  I ask that you sign the recall petition and vote to recall Mike Zinkin. 


(Editor’s Note: Satish Hiremath is the mayor of Oro Valley. The views expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not necessarily of The Explorer. Councilman Mike Zinkin has been given the option to respond in the Jan. 1 edition.)

(10) comments


Wow-- the beat goes on. Chicago style politics in Oro Valley. When your performance is lacking and/or questioned just play the harassment or race card, the first line of defense for bureaucrats since the passage of Title 7.

If I were Councilman Zinkins I would learn to never ever challenge or question the extremely cozy relationship between the Mayor and the FOP Union, and to certainly steer clear of all "chains and concrete blocks " for the foreseeable future. I think that former Town Manager Andrews could enlighten us all on this councils tactics when challenged with facts that are not of their liking.

Hopefully our citizenry will see through some of this politically correct nonsense during their consideration of any recall proceedings. A&E vs. Duck Dynasty anyone?

John Flanagan

I do not know the full story precipitating the Mayor's complaint, however, it seems unprofessional to air these allegations in public, in a local newspaper, until an official unbiased board of inquiry sorts out all of the facts and makes a determination. An impartial due process examination of the evidence and a fair hearing is the least we can expect in such cases, not a trial by the media or a public lynching. If a fair and impartial hearing determines that an individual be removed from office, then a release to the media can be made and at least it can be said that there was no prejudice. I think any of us who find ourselves charged with misconduct for actual or perceived ineptness should expect a fair hearing before being exposed to public scorn.


Does anyone else feel this is unusual for a sitting mayor to demand a recall of a council member? The reading public has zero benefit of all the facts surrounding these allegations. As we all know, there are certainly the "the other sides of the story," which we voters are entitled to be aware of in order to render an appropriate vote. How will this information be disseminated? Can we trust the mayor's office to factually inform the voters? Obviously not, raising the specter that there is much more than meets the eye. There's no disputing the fact, with regard to our very competent police department, that there is continuing disagreement among council members as to a range of issues, including the department budget, conducting a management study to assess the department's overall effectiveness as a function of cost, and what bodies should exercise overall management authority of the police department. These are legitimate issues that require thoughtful consideration. Is it possible that the police department is generally opposed to these examinations, to protect itself from possible cuts? Is it possible that the mayor's allegations are related to these issues, and is actually an effort to remove Mr. Zinkin for purely political purposes? The tone of Mayor Hiremath's clearly biased, almost tattling whining, smacks of a more nefarious motivation. I would demand an unbiased, third party investigation of the facts that would either validate or discount these serious allegations against Mr. Zinkin before we are asked to remove him or anyone else from office. Voters deserve the unbiased truth and full disclosure of all the facts. Mayor Hiremath's missive misses the mark, and considering the political differences between these two men, is inappropriate at the very least.


Phemmert....Much of what has been alledged is in the public record and available for you to read. It was also reported in both the Explorer and the AZ Daily Star.

You have to look no further than San Diego and Tornoto for there to be requests for some members of a Town/City council to ask for the resignation or recall of another member.

The recall is for sexual harassment, racist comments. It has nothing to do with management of the police department.


Don, I have since read the entire Zinkin file, including email threads between various individuals in the police department, council members, and the town manager. The unfortunate reality is that Mr. Mayor Hiremath wants Zinkin off the council, and will go to excess length to make it happen.

You can pick a random name in the phone book, find history on the person, and trump up that history to suit your agenda. That's exactly what's going on here. Rather than trust other people to tell you what they want you to know, I encourage anyone who sincerely wants the facts to read over this file. It's enlightening. Sadly, Oro Valley politics is plumbing the depths of cronyism for reasons that we should all be embarrassed of.


I found this article to be downright disgusting! If anyone is to be recalled, it should be Mayor Hiremath. As Mayor, he should be impartial in public to all Council members. To call out Mr. Zinkin this way is appalling.


AZsheeplady... Councilmember Zinkin has two sexual harassment complaints reported by female employees of the Town. He has a complaint filed against him by a fellow councilmember for vulgar and offensive language in an Executive Session. He has made racist comments towards Hispanics. He failed to report a motor vehicle accident properly. He has questioned the sending of four motor officers to prescott to assist in the escort of the bodies of the Yarnell firefighters.

All things considered, I think the mayor was relatively light on him.

Lleva Corbata

Are you people serious in the defense of this guy? Really! You can't read the information that has been provided and understand that this man has some serious flaws that are more representative of the "Pepsi Generation" than they are of today's society.
His traffic indiscretions, his admitted apology for offending females with his language, his crudeness toward Mexicans. Are you people deluded??
This isn't political this is about morals. Stop deflecting with "Chicago style political comments" of which you know nothing. [sad]


As long as you/they (the majority four) are trying to denigrate a popularly elected official with unproven political generated trumped up charges it is :"Chicago style politics" at its best. A duck, is a duck, is a duck. Look ...... I do not agree with Mr. Zinkins alleged actions, but until he is charged and proven guilty the whole affair stands as politically motivated by a majority that favors the "status quo", If he is guilty, charge him and throw him out. If not, then leave him alone. The way too incestuous relationship between the Mayor and the police union urgently needs third party oversight (which Zinkin and others propose) and until the police department is managed on the same basis as the other other town functions the whole process does not pass the smell test. What next ... is the Mayor going to sic his private police force on town citizens who disagree with his management style as he has very apparently done with Zinkin?


I have several friends who are patients of the Mayor and I have seen him at numerous town events. He seems to be a genuine and caring person who is looking out for the best interests of the citizens. I do think it is unusual for a Mayor to call for the recall of another council member, but that may speak to how important it is for the citizens to be aware of what is going on in their town.
I understand there may be two sides to every story but there is no way anyone can justify Mr. Zinkin's questioning of why four motorcycles were sent to Prescott to escort the fallen fire fighters. 19 FIREFIGHTERS DIED! This was one of the biggest tragedies in Arizona's history! Do you think a small town can handle all that on their own. What if 19 of our firefighters died? Could our town handle that on our own? I have read the email exchanges between Mr. Zinkin and the Town Manager. Mr. Zinkin wanted to know how much it cost and how it benefited the town. Really? If I didn't think Mr. Zinkin had a beef with public safety before he has certainly proved it now.
I for one am glad someone has the courage to let the citizens know about what is going on and we can decide if we want to keep Mr. Zinkin in office.

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