In late July, Mayor Hiremath sent an email (below) to Pima County Attorney Barbara Lawall. In it he claims that:
"...there are town employees who have severe concerns about their safety given Councilmember Burns's increasing escalation of infractions of the law in addition to him having a military background." Also, Hiremath asserts that "...safety is a concern for me as well."
There are no complaints by town staff on file about Council Member Burns. Nor has Council Member Burns ever demonstrated any action to Hiremath that should make Hiremath fearful.
Council Member Burns was in discussion with Town Attorney Rosen about residency requirements long before Mayor Hiremath chose to become involved. The requirement that an elected official must live in their community is a state law the came into effect in July. The only reason Burns was not a resident at that moment was that he had separated from his spouse.
Yes. Council MemberBurns was arrested on domestic charges. Yes. he has to prove himself in court and if he's found guilty of a felony, then it will be difficult to support Burns behavior outside of the arena of politics. Having said that, Burns is a council member who would go to bat for any Oro Valley citizen and we continue to support his professional role as a leader of our community until it's proven otherwise.
What is going on on the part of Mayor Hiremath is simple:
The Mayor is fixated on removing at least one of the minority from council. He failed at removing Council Member Zinkin last winter in a recall attempt. Now he wants Burns out.
The Mayor is out of control.
Frankly, we think that Hiremath is "losing it."
The following is the email and Council Member Burns's response to it:
From: Hiremath Satish
Subject: FWD: Article
Date: Wednesday, July 30,2014 10:31:28 AM
The article that is being referred to below by Council member Brendan Burns is the letter I wrote to you regarding an investigation into residency rules and being an elected official. I am forwarding this to you because I feel that it should be incorporated as part of your investigation. There are other Town emails which reflect communication between Councilmember Brendan Burns and both of our town attorneys (Tobin Sidles and Kelly Schwab) regarding Councilmember Burns wanting to challenge their interpretation of what constitutes residency.
An additional note to consider is that there are town employees who have severe concerns about their safety given Councilmember Burn'ss increasing escalation of infractions of the law in addition to him having a military background. Safety is also a very large concern for me as well. I would like to discuss this further with you in person or via phone. My cell phone number is .... Thank you for your attention on this very serious matter.
Mayor Oro Valley
Sent from my iPad
Burns responded that same day:
"So I assume you realize you are lying to the public about your leadership when you actively work to discredit and remove fellow council members. I cannot stand a man without integrity or honor. You sir, have neither."---