Tempe City Council Will Vote On Removing Councilman Kolby Granville

Published: Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 9:58pm
Updated: Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 6:48pm
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Kolby Granville.

The Tempe City Council decided at its meeting Thursday to take the next step toward removing Councilman Kolby Granville from office.

The council will make a final decision at a special city meeting on April 12.

"It's an ugly thing, because we don't want to put the survivors through three weeks of being trashed," said Councilman Randy Keating as he called for the special meeting rather than wait for the next scheduled meeting.  

The survivors Keating refers to are three former students of Tempe Preparatory Academy, a charter school Granville taught at until he was fired in December 2017.

The students allege he facilitated underage drinking and made unwanted sexual advances toward them after they graduated.

Phoenix police investigated and did not charge Granville with a crime.

Granville did not address the accusations at Thursday’s meeting. KJZZ requested a statement or interview.

Tempe hired lawyer Sarah Barnes to investigate code-of-conduct violations such as having an abusive attitude, language or behavior, harming someone and causing discredit to the city.

"I believe all of those, based on everything that I've read, who I interviewed in addition to the new information, have been violated in one way or another by Mr. Granville's conduct," Barnes told the council Thursday.  

→ Read Barnes’ Investigation

Granville said in an interview with Barnes that he would like to resign, but believes it would be unethical.

"Because 15,000 people voted for me to do a job, and I believe I should do that job," Granville said.

The council heard from more than a dozen people — including residents, a local business owner and a state lawmaker-- who asked for Granville’s removal or resignation. Five people, including his fiance, spoke in support of Granville.

“We’re just asking for our elected officials to display behavior that we want emulated in the future,” said Maria Dooling, an ASU student.

Several former students of Tempe Preparatory Academy, though not students of Granville’s, said they heard rumors about his behavior.

“Students were very uncomfortable by his actions, the things he would say, the way he would greet certain students, especially the female students,” Erin Guiney said.

State Rep. Athena Salman, a Democrat from Tempe, has witnessed the departure of two members of the House. Leaders expelled Don Shooter, and David Stringer resigned under pressure.

“It was apparent that their removal was the only way to maintain the integrity of the institution and more importantly bring forth justice for their victims,” Salman said.

Several people said they doubted the accusers’ intentions or that Granville deserved to finish his term, which ends in 2020.

“I think this city has prosecuted Mr. Granville in the court of public opinion and encouraged the most vile political assassination I’ve ever witnessed,” said Tempe resident Mariam Ephraim. She said she’s known Granville for about seven years.

“I know him to be an imperfect individual much like the rest of us, yet he has shown me integrity at the highest levels.” 

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