MESA, Ariz. — The Mesa City Council has removed a first-term councilman who pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated after being arrested months after taking office.
The council took the action against Ryan Winkle during a special meeting Thursday. The council decided unanimously that Winkle forfeit his office effective immediately as a result of his extreme DUI conviction.
Winkle previously pleaded guilty in Tempe Municipal Court and was sentenced to serve six days in jail and 49 days of home detention. He had a previous DUI conviction in Scottsdale in 2009.
Tempe police said the car Winkle was driving May 7 was reportedly weaving in the roadway before it was pulled over. Police said Winkle showed signs and symptoms consistent with impairment during the traffic stop.
Authorities said Winkle had a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 percent, nearly three times the state’s legal limit for drivers.
A community economic development consultant and a co-founder of Mesa Urban Garden, Winkle was elected in 2016 and took office in January to represent a west Mesa district.
Winkle asked to be allowed to remain on the council. Winkle said that he attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and went to addiction counseling after his May arrest.
After the meeting, he said he was disappointed and saddened by the decision.
“But, it’s not going to stop my work for the city,” Winkle said. “I care about this city, I care what happens here. That’s not going to change after this decision.”
An attorney for Winkle said his client will begin serving his jail sentence Friday.
Mesa is Arizona’s third most populous city, with an estimated 2016 population of 467,532, according to the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.