Opinion: First Amendment Does Not Excuse Granville’s Ethical Violations

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Opinion: First Amendment Does Not Excuse Granville’s Ethical Violations
Photo/graphic source: Mario Martinez

In Tempe Councilman Kolby Granville’s public statement (July 29, 2017) regarding his second consecutive council reprimand for personnel code and ethics violations, Mr. Granville charges that the council is violating his First Amendment rights. Now he has a chance to prove that.

Mr. Granville is an elected Tempe City employee. If the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution did excuse violations of municipal personnel and ethics codes, it would mean that employees would be able to insult each other with racial and sexual epithets in regards to work related matters, which is not permitted.

Basis of the Two Council Reprimands

                Mr. Granville’s council reprimands stemmed from two separate, but somewhat related incidents. In the first incident, Mr. Granville berated a very competent woman assistant Tempe city attorney, and used a fecal expletive to describe her work. According to an Arizona Republic  report (April 7, 2017), she filed a complaint, which resulted in an outside attorney determining that Mr. Granville violated the personnel and ethics codes. Subsequently, he was reprimanded by the council.

                The day after his April 6th ethics hearing for the employee abuse case, on social media Mr. Granville used a photograph of himself taken at his first ethics hearing, which led to his second ethics charge.  That photo was taken by a Tempe constituent who is also this writer.

                Facebook users are always given the option to post material using standard Facebook privacy options, including the “Public” one. Using a photo of himself from his April 6th employee abuse ethics hearing, Mr. Granville chose to post the photo using the Facebook public option. Mr. Granville added the caption that this particular “good” photo, was taken by a “psycho stalker”.  He publicly posted the same thing on Instagram. These posts immediately became public because Mr. Granville chose make them public (See enclosed images).

                The photographer was concerned about Mr. Granville’s sensational stalking fears. The photographer immediately contacted the Tempe police regarding Mr. Granville’s safety.  Both KJZZ reported (June 16, 2017) and ABC 15 Arizona (June 14, 2017) reported that the Tempe police stated that Mr. Granville readily admitted to them that his public stalking allegation was not true (See enclosed images). The photographer then filed a formal complaint. The same outside attorney investigated again, and determined that once again Mr. Granville violated the Tempe personnel and ethics codes when he made his “psycho stalker” public social media posting. Subsequently, he was reprimanded by the council again.

Granville’s Legal Complaint Options

As far as personnel and ethics code violations are concerned, Mr. Granville is a repeat offender, and not the victim he publicly claims to be. Both ABC 15 Arizona (June 27, 2017) and the Arizona Republic (July 25, 2017) reported that Mr. Granville’s actions were responsible starting what  eventually became over $20,000 in taxpayer funded legal investigations.  The Tempe personnel and ethics codes, should not be standards that should be negotiated downward, simply because one elected city employee, out of more than a 1,500 other city employees, can’t follow these standards, or common sense for that matter.

If Mr. Granville really did have his First Amendment rights violated, he could file his own complaint with Tempe City Hall. As an attorney, he can also file a legal complaint in court. So far, Mr. Granville has not displayed the legal resolve to prove it. In the absence of these legal actions by Mr. Granville, it is difficult to take his allegations of First Amendment violations seriously.

My Local News – Arizona welcomes a variety of community viewpoints and opinions. The views expressed here solely represent those of the author and not those of My Local News – Arizona and its employees.  

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4 COMMENTS

  1. So very, very tired of Martinez’s personal vendetta against the Council member. The fact is he was stalking Councilman Kolby and continues the harassment. The necessary action was taken beyond was what warranted. Enough! “The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness.” — Victor Hugo

  2. Joan, you stated “The fact is he was stalking Councilman Kolby and and continues the harassment”. I am not sure you get it, or ever will. Stalking is illegal and the Tempe police review every stalking complaint and decide whether to open and investigation or not. The police reviewed Kolby stalking allegation and based on what he told them and other information, they concluded that no crime was committed. If you have prove that anyone including me are stalking anyone in Tempe, I suggest that you tell the police, in additional to posting your baseless allegations here. You have no more right than to falsely accused me of a crime like stalking, than anyone does to falsely accuse you of doing something illegal.

    As far as the ” harassment” and “personal vendetta”, I expressed my opinion about a matter than entails our tax dollars. If you don’t like, feel free not to read it. The editorial standards of MyLocalNews Tempe is that they will not publish ” harassment” and “personal vendetta” against anyone. They do a good job editing.

    While I can respect a different opinion, I cannot respect a criminal accusation made not only with no proof, but also made in even the Tempe police stated that neither I nor anyone else was stalking Kolby, when he claimed that they did.

    People claim that Obama was born in Kenya. The only thing that they ever proved is that there are people ignorant enough to believe that. So the only thing that I see that you proved with your stalking allegations against me, is that you are ignorant to believe it. You are smarter than that. I suggest that you start acting like it.

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