Tag Archives: Councilman Michael Johnson

Group Accuses Councilmen of Tampering with Witness


Nowakowski: We told him he did the right thing

Updated: Tuesday, 26 Oct 2010, 11:11 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 26 Oct 2010, 11:11 PM MDT

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Police Department is dealing with an officer charged with murder, accused of killing an unarmed man. But the focus right now is not at that officer, but instead on City Hall.

Two city officials are accused of obstructing a criminal investigation and tampering with a witness. They allegedly contacted the witness in that police murder case — Officer Sergio Virgillo, who blew the whistle on Officer Richard Chrisman’s alleged conduct.

A national watchdog group is claiming the councilmen crossed the line, and maybe even broke the law.

via Group Accuses Councilmen of Tampering with Witness.


Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport food deal delayed

by Emily Gersema – Oct. 10, 2010 10:00 PM

The Arizona Republic

Phoenix City Council members are questioning how the Aviation Department is handling its contract for food and beverages in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 4 after department officials failed to sign a council-approved agreement with the concessionaire.

Five months ago, the City Council approved a two-year agreement with HMS Host that included a $4 million increase in rental revenues. Aviation Department officials said they didn’t tell the City Council about their failure to sign the $30 million deal because of an oversight.

The contract could not take effect without the aviation director’s signature, triggering a default, month-to-month agreement.

Councilman Michael Johnson, who represents downtown, including the airport, and south Phoenix, is irritated with the Aviation Department.

“The only thing holding up the agreement is the aviation director has not signed the agreement,” said Johnson, adding that the council should support the original contract. “We are five months into that contract from when the council originally approved it. This is a serious problem, not so much with (HMS) Host as with the city staff.”

via Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport food deal delayed.

Phoenix policeman paid amid racial slur investigation

A South Mountain Precinct sergeant fired earlier this year for using racial slurs around his officers was paid more than $71,000 in leave as detectives probed the discrimination claims, according to Phoenix police payroll records.

The investigation took 10 months and eventually led to an $86,000 settlement with the Asian-American officer who said he was harassed and threatened with unfair performance reviews after he complained about Sgt. Fred Montaldo.

Montaldo is appealing his February termination, which came a month before south Phoenix residents raised concerns about racial discrimination and civil-rights abuses by police in the wake of the handcuffing incident involving City Councilman Michael Johnson

via Phoenix policeman paid amid racial slur investigation.

Cops & Color, Part 2 | Police Ridealong and Preventing Stereotypes

PHOENIX – We spent an evening with two Phoenix Police officers, as they patrolled the streets of south Phoenix.

In south Phoenix, if you are riding a bike you’re a drug dealer. Anywhere else, you’re just riding your bike. Wear a doorag, it’s a fashion statement. In south Phoenix, you’re a gang member.

Through our coverage of Phoenix Police and race issues, we’re trying to come to a better understanding of the stereotypes and tension officers and citizens both encounter.

via Cops & Color, Part 2 | Police Ridealong and Preventing Stereotypes.

Phoenix to tap residents for panel on police

Cavazos, Harris and other officials have acknowledged that there is a “perception” that police, particularly in south Phoenix, treat Blacks and Hispanics differently from Whites.

“This is a minority issue,” said Cavazos, Phoenix’s first Hispanic chief executive, “and we have to include all the different groups that feel they have suffered from discrimination.”

Not all are embracing the idea of another task force.

Community activist Carolyn Lowery said there has been little change since a citizens panel was created in the wake of the 1994 death of 25-year-old Edward Mallet, a Black double-amputee who died after Phoenix police put him in a neck hold.

“We’ve done these task forces over and over again,” said Lowery, who has spent the past 25 years speaking out against police brutality. “I don’t think it’s the way to deal with police brutality. It goes on about six months and you never hear anything else.”

via Phoenix to tap residents for panel on police.

Union: Councilman made contact with police officer

Associated Press – March 29, 2010 11:34 PM ET

PHOENIX (AP) – The head of Phoenix’s largest police union says City Councilman Michael Johnson admitted to making contact with a police officer in an altercation that ended with Johnson being temporarily detained and handcuffed.

The president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, Mark Spencer, says he had spoken separately with Johnson and Officer Brian Authement. Spencer says it’s his understanding that Authement’s hand or arm was smacked aside or down by Johnson in the March 19 incident in south Phoenix.

via Union: Councilman made contact with police officer – KOLD News 13 live, local and late breaking-.

Officer in councilman fray praised in records

by Michael Ferraresi – Mar. 27, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic The Phoenix police officer accused of abusing his authority in the handcuffing of City Councilman Michael Johnson was known as a goal-oriented rookie who supervisors praised for his sensitivity in working with south Phoenix residents, records show.

Brian Authement, 27, received near-flawless marks on a February job review and has not been disciplined during his time at South Mountain Precinct, according to records released Friday. He’s worked in that precinct since graduating from the academy.

via Officer in councilman fray praised in records.