An FBI investigation into allegations of public corruption among South Tucson City Council members has been completed without any criminal charges being recommended, the city’s police chief said.
Police Chief Manny Amado recently told the City Council that the head of the FBI’s public corruption unit told him there was no reason to further investigate allegations made against Councilman Paul Diaz, former City Manager Luis Gonzales and a city employee, who has not been named publicly.
“They’ve had it since Feb. 6, and that’s it — they are no longer looking at it,” Amado told the council last week about the FBI investigation.
The rumors, which began circulating in 2014, had to do with alleged bribes made during the rezoning for a substance-abuse treatment facility requested by a nonprofit group, Pasadera. The center never opened.
Gonzales told the Star he wasn’t surprised by the news, saying he has never had anything to fear and that the truth — that it was a rumor spread by his political rivals — would eventually become public knowledge.
It isn’t clear who started the rumor, but Raul Green, the brother of recalled Councilman Ildefonso Green, made the issue public several weeks ago when Diaz was being sworn into office.
The Green brothers have long been at odds with Diaz, with the men fighting for control of the City Council. Both men have leveraged the power of recall elections to force the other out of office.
The FBI, as it typically does, would not confirm or deny to the Star what Amado announced during the public meeting.
But there is a reason to take Amado at his word — he wasn’t hired by current council. Instead, Amado was hired last year by former City Manager Sixto Molina.
Molina was the one to forward the allegations to the FBI in the first place, at a time when Ildefonso Green was still the mayor.
A recall election in March ousted Green and three other councilmen, with Diaz and three other political allies taking over the remainder of their terms.
Not the same Bee
The name Keith Bee will again appear on ballots this August, running for Justice of the Peace in District 5.
However, voters are not being asked to vote for the incumbent Keith Bee, who has been serving as a justice of the peace since 2007. Instead, his son, Keith Bee II is seeking to fill his father’s shoes. The elder Bee is not running again.
Doug Taylor, junior’s Republican opponent, is concerned that the younger Bee is relying on name recognition alone, to win the Aug. 28 GOP primary.
He added that he felt his GOP rival does not have the necessary experience to be a justice of the peace in Pima County.
Keith Bee II could not be reached for comment by the Star.
Which poll to believe?
When Martha McSally’s Senate campaign team released a new poll that suggested she was in the lead in a hypothetical matchup against former state Sen. Kelli Ward and pardoned ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the reaction was quick.
Ward’s press secretary Zach Henry said their internal polls have Ward up by 18 points.
“We know Martha McSally is a fake Republican, so it’s not surprising to see her now promoting fake polls,” he said.
McSally’s poll, which the campaign released to the Star, talked to 2,000 Republicans who gave McSally a 17-point lead over Arpaio and a 19-point lead over Ward.
One thing is certain — you can expect a lot more polling in the coming months.