TEMPE, Ariz. - A Mesa city councilman's wife tried using her husband's position and influence to get him out of a DUI arrest, according to body camera video released Thursday.
Mesa councilman Ryan Winkle was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of DUI after officer said he almost hit three people in a crosswalk and was swerving.
In the video, Winkle is cooperative and fails a roadside DUI test. He claimed he had nothing to drink.
His wife, however, admitted neither of the them should have been driving. She told police multiple times Winkle was a Mesa city councilman.
"If Tempe screws Ryan," she said, "he's like, literally the only Democrat in Mesa."
"Ryan is the only Mesa person that supports the unions," she continued.
At one point in the video, an officer informs her Winkle is being arrested. Winkle's wife replies, "Well maybe we need to talk about that, because he's the only person who supports you guys."
As Winkle is being loaded into a squad car to be processed at a DUI checkpoint, the video shows his wife telling officers Winkle will "return his favor" and "support the Tea Partiers so you guys don't get paid."
Winkle was arrested for extreme DUI in 2008. He pled guilty and other charges of reckless driving were dropped.
Neither Winkle nor the City of Mesa would comment on the video Thursday, instead referring to Winkle's previous written statement:
“During a routine traffic stop early Sunday morning in Tempe, I was processed and cited for Driving Under the Influence. I understand that this is a very serious matter and I am cooperating fully with the Tempe Police Department in every way possible. Since this is an ongoing legal matter, I will not be making any further statements at this time.”
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