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Officer accused of making threats against Phoenix mayor decides to resign following investigation

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Posted at 7:03 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 00:14:15-05

PHOENIX — The Phoenix officer who was accused of vowing to shoot Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has decided to resign, the police department announced Monday.

Officer Steven Poulos provided his retirement notice to the department before a pre-termination meeting, that was scheduled to happen with Chief Jeri Williams and himself to review the findings of the investigation following the alleged threats.

Officials said Poulos is no longer employed with the Phoenix Police Department and stated that retirement eliminates options for the department to consider disciplinary action.

Police Chief Jeri Williams shared the following statement regarding Poulos:

"The statements made by Mr. Poulos during a squad meeting do not reflect the high standards expected of members of Phoenix Police Department. I have thousands of officers doing amazing work on behalf of the people of Phoenix each day. They act with professionalism and respect. When they don't, they will be held accountable. I expect more and the people of this great city deserve more."

Last month, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said it would not file criminal charges against Poulos who was accused of vowing to shoot Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego if she "defunded the police."

The Tempe Police Department provided a police report to ABC15 in December 2020 where details of the case that was being conducted against then-Officer Steve Poulos regarding the threat he had made against Mayor Gallego.

According to the report, Poulos made the threat with other officers present in a briefing room inside the Black Mountain Police Precinct. A sergeant reported that Poulos said, “If the mayor defunds the police, I’m going to shoot her.” When challenged about his seriousness Poulos allegedly replied, “That’s a promise.”

Tempe police were asked to do the criminal investigation to increase impartiality.

The findings by the Tempe Police Department and the Professional Standards Bureau's internal investigation are expected to be provided to the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (AZPOST), the Phoenix Police Department said.

AZPOST is responsible for determining if an individual can work as a police officer in the state of Arizona.