Green Stirs Up Controversy, South Tucson Police Chief Exits

South Tucson Police Chief Michael Ford

On Tuesday, South Tucson Police Chief Michael Ford was the victim of retaliation after enduring verbal abuse by Mayor Ildefonso Green the night before, during a City Council meeting. Green accused Ford of leaking information about the mismanagement of the City’s finances.

Green’s accusation was surprising given that South Tucson’s financial crisis is well-known and documented in news items.

Despite the fact that the Police Department has the potential to bring in revenues, and the Fire Department only costs money, Green has indicated that he wants to outsource both services. He later denied that outsourcing was a possibility.

Green claimed that Ford had to be “leaking” information to the press due to coverage of anticipated cuts to public safety in the face of a massive $650,000 deficit.

Green called on Ford during the meeting and repeatedly asked him who “the leaker” is. Ford repeatedly answered, “You know who it is,” referring to the fact that the information was attained by the media from the public record including comments made at Council meetings.

After enduring the baseless accusations, Ford, who has been with the City since 2014, finally walked out of the meeting. Green then accused him of insubordination.

On Wednesday, Ford was asked to discuss the matter with Green. Green was a no-show, and Ford was confronted by City Manager Sixto Molina, who advised him that he was out and his second-in-command, Lt. Kevin Shonk, would take over.

Green, a City of Tucson employee, and his operatives orchestrated a take over of the small city forcing reformers out. Green’s group recalled former Mayor Paul Diaz.

Diaz was targeted after he and City Manager, former State Senator Luis Gonzales exposed an illegal tax scheme. Information about the scheme, in which Pima County had collected an illegal tax on behalf of South Tucson, was sent to the Pima County Attorney’s Criminal Division by Gonzales at the direction of Diaz and the then City Council majority. Reportedly Diaz also turned the documents over to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

At the time, Gonzales told the Pima County Board of Supervisors, “We believe that in the event that this property tax has been imposed improperly or illegally then obviously there was a shared responsibility here.”

Not long after that, Diaz was recalled.

Should the deficit force the City of South Tucson into bankruptcy, Pima County would gain control of the community.

Records show that under Ford’s leadership, the Police Department was receiving high marks.

Records show that the South Tucson Police Department organization received high marks under chief Michael Ford’s leadership.

Related article: Pima County Supervisors Bronson, Valadez Admit Failure To Be Informed

7 Comments on "Green Stirs Up Controversy, South Tucson Police Chief Exits"

  1. Just more of the same in the home of Dan Eckstrom. The best thing that could happen is that ST declares bankruptcy. It would save the COT thousands in taxpayer money to pick up the garbage and on the mutual aid agreement for fire services that only benefit ST. How sad that a fire department doesn’t have enough men on an engine to make an entry into a structure fire and do a quick search and rescue. They have to wait on TFD for manpower. Pathetic.

  2. Dwayne Wolfswinkle | June 23, 2017 at 6:36 am |

    City Manager Sixto Molina bounces from one corrupt situation to another. City of South Tucson to Sunnyside TPD retirement department to City of south Tucson as City Mgr.

  3. Jose Dominguez Gonarhea-Sanchez | June 23, 2017 at 8:11 am |

    Garbage in, garbage out. Its the best example of Pima county politics when you vote down party lines.
    South Tucson needs to vacate the dream of self control and just bite the bitter pill of Tucson annexation. In the end it’ll save us all money.

  4. Orlando Gutierrez | June 23, 2017 at 8:47 am |

    The Mayor and City Manager are big jokes. When you make accusations based on assumptions, it really does not say much for their character. They had a great police chief that made great changes and actually cared about the community. I never once heard of a police chief getting fired for doing his job. Grow a pair Mr. Ildefonso and Mr. Molina, not everyone will agree with you, but you dont fire them because of it. We all have the right to walk out of a hostile environment. You have no clue how to run a town.

  5. This is life in The Kingdom of Eckstrom. Nothing new here. A continuous revolving door of corrupt politicians that spans decades. This good ole boy system is not intended to govern, but to spread the wealth among a select few of Danny’s boys. Meanwhile the citizens cannot even count on a fully equipped fire truck let alone a responsive police department. Time to pull the plug on this sinking ship.

  6. Hey guys,Bully Green only want control over Police and Finance. And the h*() with the City

  7. Dave Garcia | July 26, 2017 at 8:35 pm |

    Green only accused chief Ford out of fear of losing his “mayor title” cuz of conflict of interest issues being a City of Tucson employee. Time for Pima County to take over and end this corruption..

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