A man who says he is not Gary Whalen, a conservative candidate running for a seat on the Phoenix City Council, tells New Times an interesting yarn to explain away
his Whalen's arrest in January for assaulting his boyfriend.
We wrote yesterday about Whalen, 42, getting arrested on January 23 after a neighbor heard a fight at his north Phoenix home and called 911. A Phoenix police report states that Whalen came home from a bar, apparently drunk, and busted down a locked bedroom door in his house. He then took a piece of the broken wood and struck Daevon Turner, identified in the police report as Whalen's "ex-boyfriend", with a piece of broken wood from the downed door.
Read the full police report.
New Times tried reaching Whalen for comment, but twice the man who answered Whalen's cell phone said he wasn't Whalen. The number we called appears on Whalen's Facebook page, campaign website and candidate documents.
A few moments later, a man calling from Whalen's cell phone, but again claiming he wasn't Whalen, tells us that Gary Whalen had nothing to do with the assault incident.
The caller says it was actually a "Gaby Whalen" who was involved.
The caller, who wouldn't identify himself, wasn't budging from his story, even when we told him the police reported listed Gary Whalen as the person described in the police report, the individual taken to the Phoenix Police Department's Cactus Park Precinct, transported to Central Booking and booked into Fourth Avenue Jail. The caller simply says that the police "messed it up" and arrested the wrong man.
Since it was obviously Whalen on the phone, we had to take a closer look at the case.
Here's the deal:
The caller, who tells New Times that he knows Turner but doesn't know either Gaby or Gary Whalen, was trying to take advantage of a typo in Phoenix Municipal Court records in his attempt to defend the District 1 candidate.
(The address listed on the police report and on court records is the same address that Whalen listed on paperwork he filed with the Phoenix City Clerk's Office to run against Councilwoman Thelda Williams for her District 1 seat.)
A Phoenix Municipal Court summons dated March 3, 2011 indeed lists a "Gaby D. Whalen" as the defendant, and orders Whalen to appear in court on March 24 for the assault-related case.
However, Phoenix Municipal Court records show that on March 24, the files were amended to fix that error. Subsequent files, including the one that Gary Whalen signed on May 11, pleading guilty to assault, all list the defendant as Gary Whalen, not Gaby.
Court records also show that Gary Whalen was facing 36 months probation and 30 days in jail, with 25 of those days suspended if he completed a Domestic Violence Diversion Program.
The caller, continuing the charade, tells New Times that while Gary Whalen owns the house where the altercation took place, someone named Gaby Whalen was a tenant in the home with 27-year-old Daevon Turner, the man who was assaulted.
The caller couldn't say for sure whether Gaby was male or female.
Perhaps Whalen (Gary, not Gaby) thought there weren't any records of his case since part of his plea agreement included a provision that the court would "suspend the entry of judgment and imposition of sentence for a maximum of 365 days" as long as Whalen signed up for counseling sessions in a Domestic Violence Diversion Program, among other things.
And, that "if the defendant successfully completes the Domestic Violence Diversion Program, the Court shall not enter the judgment nor execute sentence, but shall set aside this Plea Agreement and dismiss the charge(s) without prejudice."
Gary Whalen signed that plea agreement on May 11, 2011.