TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Tempe City Council voted unanimously to remove council member Kolby Granville from office at a special meeting Friday night. Granville is accused of unwanted sexual advances and providing alcohol to three underage college girls. Those accusers went to Tempe Preparatory Academy, where Granville once taught.
The women declined to cooperate with police so charges were never filed. However, city leaders say Granville violated their code of conduct.
"There is an expectation, as part of the public, that elected officials are held to a higher standard,” council member Randy Keating said after the meeting.
He and the other six councilors, aside from Granville, voted for Granville’s expulsion at the end of a 3-and-a-half hour meeting.
The first two hours were filled with public comment. Dozens of people spoke, most against Granville. Members of Arizona State University Student Government spoke in favor of Granville’s expulsion while making new allegations against him at the meeting.
“The norm for student government women is to keep away from council member Granville due to unwanted advances,” one of the students said.
There were a few people who spoke out in Granville’s defense, or at least to raised questions about the council’s ability to remove someone from office.
Some of their concerns dealt with Proposition 418, which voters approved in the November election. It allows the council to remove one of their own from office if there is evidence of "unlawful conduct involving moral turpitude, fraud or corruption."
“I think that when [Prop 418] was initially proposed there was kind of an agenda behind it, and that concerns me,” one woman said during public comment.
After a summary of the accusations from outside counsel Sarah Barnes, Granville's attorney read a prepared statement.
“We urge you to avoid compounding the problems of lack of evidence, lack of disclosure to councilman Granville, lack of due process, and, to date, an unfair and biased process, and allow councilman Granville to remain on city council,” she said.
The allegations of sexual misconduct were never prosecuted because none of the accusers agreed to press charges.
We asked the ousted council member if he had anything to say before he left council chambers Friday night. He just shook his head and walked out without saying a word.
Other than handing a packet of information to the other council members and the city clerk, he didn’t address the accusations.
Council members say the meeting was a way to hold him accountable.
"I think what we just saw was due process. Councilman Granville had the opportunity to confront the evidence. [He] had the opportunity to introduce new evidence. His lawyer made a case for him,” Keating said.
City council members will meet on Monday to discuss their next steps. They have 30 days to appoint someone new to Granville's spot, or 90 days to declare a special election for his seat.