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.