A Phoenix police officer is accused of making a threat of violence against Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.
The "credible threat" came within the last two weeks, according to a Jeanine L'Ecuyer, a Gallego spokeswoman. L'Ecuyer said that additional police protection has been provided to Gallego since the threat became known. The Phoenix Mayor's Office also confirmed an investigation is underway.
Two sources familiar with the case identified the officer as Steve Poulos. Pension board records showed he's been a police officer for more than 22 years. When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Poulos called the allegation against him "ridiculous" because "it's not what I said." He referred us to his lawyer for additional comment.
Mayor Gallego's office released the following statement:
"The Mayor’s office is aware of a credible threat made by a member of the Phoenix Police Department to harm the Mayor. We are also aware an investigation is underway. Additional police protection has been provided to the Mayor."
We are trying to determine the exact nature of the threat and how it was made. Gallego, who has pushed for police reforms, including a citizen review board, is up for reelection in November.
We reached out to the Phoenix Police Department for more details on Poulos' current employment status and what, if any, criminal investigation is underway. The department did not immediately respond.