GOP pushes for charges in Kyrene Constable ethics case - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

GOP pushes for charges in Kyrene Constable ethics case

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Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2010 2:00 pm | Updated: 4:46 pm, Thu Sep 13, 2012.

It's unclear if outgoing Kyrene Constable Jon Levenson will be prosecuted for alleged ethics violations now that he's lost his bid for re-election, but local Republicans are pushing for criminal charges and are calling on him to resign early.

Anthony Miller, chairman of the Legislative District 20 GOP, said in a statement Wednesday that Levenson ought to be removed from office as quickly as possible, without waiting until his term ends in January.

"The bottom line is that public safety is at risk every day that Levenson is in office, and knowing what we know, it would be irresponsible to remain silent on this issue just because the election is over," Miller said.

Levenson, a Democrat, had been seeking a second term as constable of the Kyrene district, which encompasses Ahwatukee Foothills, Guadalupe and parts of Tempe, Phoenix and Scottsdale. Constables, who are elected to four-year terms, are responsible for such things as serving eviction notices, orders of protection, and civil and criminal summons and subpoenas; for seizing property to satisfy judgments; and for providing judicial security to the justice courts.

In September, the Arizona Constable Ethics Standards and Training Board, a state oversight committee that investigates complaints against constables, submitted Levenson's name to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and Superior Court for possible criminal prosecution for allegedly failing to serve several writs. If the county attorney decides to pursue the case, Levenson could face criminal charges of nonfeasance of office, a misdemeanor.

Bill Fitzgerald, a County Attorney's Office spokesman, said the matter is still under review and the agency has not yet decided whether to go forward with prosecution. However, Pima County Constable Vince Roberts, who chairs the ethics oversight board, said he believes prosecution is unlikely now that Levenson has been voted out.

"To some extent the problem has been solved," Roberts said.

Levenson could not be reached for comment, but he has said he's innocent of any alleged ethics violations.

His replacement as Kyrene Constable, Brandon Schmoll, said it's up to the County Attorney to decide whether or not charges should be filed.

"I'm sure (County Attorney) Bill Montgomery will make the right choice," he said.

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