Mayor Faces Third Court Battle

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Mayor Ken Murphy is facing yet another trial in the Payson Justice Court.

The Gila County Attorney's Office filed two counts of intimidation, threatening and/or harassment by phone against Murphy for phone calls reportedly made to both Vice Mayor Barbara Brewer and Councilwoman Judy Buettner in June.

A pre-trial conference on the case was held Thursday, Oct. 9 before Judge John Pearlman, who is serving in place of Justice Ronnie O. McDaniel, who recused himself.

Murphy's attorney Harlan Green said they were offered a plea on both counts, but refused them. The matter will go to trial, but a date has not yet been set, he said.

"The police investigated the incident and forwarded their reports to us to decided if charges should be filed," County Attorney Daisy Flores said.

The complaint on the matter was filed at the end of August, two months after the actual incidents.

Brewer reported she received a disturbing call from Murphy on June 27, as did Buettner.

In response to the call, Brewer obtained a court order prohibiting harassment against Murphy. In her petition for the order, Brewer said the mayor called her around noon, June 27. "He was angry and yelling," Brewer wrote in the petition, she then went on to detail the profanity Murphy used.

Murphy denied, in writing, he used the crude words attributed to him and said, "I addressed Brewer as a ‘stuck up witch.' It does not surprise me that she would embellish the statement I made."

"I called Vice Mayor Brewer on her cell phone. ... I was told by Councilman Reese of personal attacks leveled at my fiance coming from Judy Buettner. These personal attacks are untrue and malicious ... ," Murphy wrote.

Beuttner also called police about a call she received from Murphy.

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