Glendale mayoral candidate accuses opponent of damaging state property

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A candidate for mayor in Glendale is accusing his opponent of damaging state property.
Manuel Cruz was joined by former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard as he released surveillance video on Tuesday.

The video shows state legislator and mayoral candidate Jerry Weiers using his SUV to move a planter in front of the state Capitol in February. The planter was moved several feet. Cruz said Weiers did it so he could park his motorcycle by the entrance of the House building.

The planters were purchased last year and serve as security barriers. Goddard said it cost taxpayer money to put the planter back using a forklift.

"This action is unbecoming of an elected official and the people of Glendale need to know about Jerry's temperament," Cruz said. "Today, I state that Jerry Weiers is not worthy of being mayor of the fifth largest city in our state."

Goddard, who is supporting Cruz for mayor, called the incident an irresponsible act by a state lawmaker abusing state property.

"He has all the options in the world to go through the process that he himself presides over and to get the planters moved if in fact they're in the wrong place," Goddard said. "But instead he took the law into his own hands, took a yellow rope, swung it around the planter and moved it out of the way without asking permission."

Weiers' camp dismissed the accusations.

"We just entered a new stage of silliness," said Weiers' spokesman Jason Rose. "We pledge right now that we're not going to go after Manuel Cruz for spitting on sidewalks, returning library books late, and jaywalking at various points in his life. The move of potted plants is something I just think we're scratching our heads about."

Goddard said Weiers was never cited or charged after the incident because legislators have immunity while in session.

Glendale voters will decide whether they consider this an abuse of power or petty political bickering days before the election.