A Phoenix police officer is under investigation for making a "credible threat" to harm Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.
The Mayor's office issued a short statement this afternoon: "The Mayor’s office is aware of a credible threat made by a member of the Phoenix Police Department to harm the Mayor."
The statement added that the city is aware of an investigation and that "additional police protection has been provided to the Mayor."
Minutes later, the Phoenix Police Department issued its own statement, confirming that a "criminal investigation" conducted by the Tempe Police Department is underway, as is an internal investigation by the Phoenix Police Department's Professional Standards Bureau.
"Steps have been taken to ensure Mayor Gallego’s safety," said Sergeant Mercedes Fortune, a spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department, in the statement. "While the investigation is ongoing the involved Officer has been assigned to home."
Fortune did not respond to New Times' requests for comment. Mari Bourbon, a spokesperson for Mayor Gallego, also didn't respond to a request for additional information.
Jeanine L'Ecuyer, Gallego's communications director, told New Times that the Mayor's office learned of the threat from the city manager "within the last week", but couldn't provide further details.
ABC15 News (KNXV-TV) reported online that "two sources familiar with the case" say the involved officer was Steve Poulos. A LinkedIn profile for Poulos shows that he has been with the Phoenix Police Department for over two decades. "When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Poulos called the allegation against him 'ridiculous' because 'it's not what I said,'" the story reported, adding that he referred ABC15 to his lawyer.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.