South Tucson is back in the hands of the reformer Paul Diaz, as voters recalled Mayor Ildefonso Green and councilmen Rufino Cantu, Robert Larribas and Carlos Romo on Tuesday. Mayor Diaz and his slate of candidates: Herman Lopez, Rita Rogers, and Bob Teso were elected by a landslide 65 percent of the vote.
Diaz had been recalled by Green’s network in May 2015 due to Diaz’s efforts to clean up the one square-mile city which had been plagued by corruption for years.
Under Green’s leadership, the already struggling community was plunged into controversy after its chief of police, Michael Green became the victim of retaliation after enduring verbal abuse by Green during a City Council meeting in 2017. Green accused Ford of leaking information about the mismanagement of the City’s finances.
Then in February 2018, 22 members of the South Tucson Fire Department submitted their resignations. According to KGUN9 News, former Fire Captain, Rick Raimondi was one of the staff members to resign. “He says the last straw was the city cutting down how many firefighters work on each engine, reported KGUN9 News. “The cut back on engine personnel from four to three firefighters was a big concern.
“I want to thanks the voters,” said Diaz. “It was tough when I was personally attacked with libelous claims and was slandered, but we are now completely vindicated and look forward to turning things around for the good people of South Tucson.”