City Hall

Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman Drops City Firefighter and Police "Endorsement" (Eight Years Later)

For anyone still trying to vote in the 2004 election for Tempe mayor, we'd like to inform you that Hugh Hallman is no longer endorsed by "Tempe firefighters and police."

Sure, Hallman was elected mayor in 2004, but why not hit him with a complaint while he's on his way out the door?

Stemming from the battle between supporters of Tempe mayoral candidates (for 2012) Mark Mitchell and Michael Monti over whether "your" public employees can endorse people in campaign signs, a city resident submitted a complaint against Hallman for a similar issue.

Hallman's website touted an endorsement of not "your" firefighters and police, but Tempe's.

The complaint from Mario Martinez mostly falls into the category of "proving points" at this juncture, but hey, his point's been proven.

At first, Tempe officials weren't exactly receptive to Martinez's claim.

According to his recollection, "City Attorney Andrew Ching informed me that he saw nothing improper about the use of the 'Tempe firefighters' term by Mayor Hallman. At the time, Mr. Ching mentioned nothing about the fundraising aspect of this web page. Mr. Ching will have that opportunity now. [City Attorney Charlie] Meyer and Mr. Ching assured me that they were completely impartial and independent as far as their official duties were concerned."

A letter from Meyer to Hallman, obtained by Martinez, tells a bit of a different story.

"If, in fact, you received an endorsement from Tempe fire and/or police employees (in their official capacities) during your 2004 campaign for Mayor, the employees who made the endorsements likely acted in violation of [city personnel rules]," Meyer wrote. "However, the City is not aware of any employees doing so during the 2004 election season."

Martinez has contended that the endorsement never existed.

Hallman's website no longer includes the endorsement claim, and an e-mail from Ching to Martinez recommends that Martinez forward the portion of his complaint about using false statements to raise campaign funds to the Secretary of State's office.

We'd like to think Dennis Cahill's out there somewhere, shaking his fist.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley