Councilor Accused Of Playing Traffic Cop

Advertisement

A town employee said town councilor Dick Reese flashed a badge and told him to turn off his blinker while the two were stopped in their vehicles at the intersection of Highways 87 and 260 on the afternoon of Jan. 28.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous due to his employment with the town, said Reese was acting like he was a police officer.

photo

Town councilor Dick Reese

Reese maintains he was just trying to "help the guy out," according to statements to police.

"I took the day off because my child was sick," the employee said. "I was running errands and I guess I forgot to turn my blinker off."

As he was stopped at the intersection waiting for a green light to go south on the Beeline, a man he identified as Reese, got out of his car that was stopped in front of him.

"He took out his wallet, flashed a badge and motioned for me to roll down my window," the man said. "Then he said he could ‘save me a $29 ticket' if I would turn off my blinker."

He did so and Reese returned to his car.

Council badges are gold, six-point stars that resemble sheriff's office badges.

"It made me really angry," he said. "He was acting like he was a police officer -- he's a council member."

The man reported the incident to Payson Police Officer Dave Vaughn, who passed on the information to Police Chief Gordon Gartner.

According to Arizona law, impersonating a police officer is a misdemeanor offense.

"It's a conflict for us to investigate the incident," Gartner said. "The Globe police agreed to do the investigation."

Globe Police Sgt. Ramon Hernandez conducted the investigation.

According to the police report, Reese said he never intended to identify himself as a police officer and he was just trying to be a good neighbor. Reese said the reason he displayed his badge was to identify himself as a council member.

Hernandez asked Reese about the $29 fine he referred to. Reese said that he did not mean he wanted any money from the man -- he was only joking.

According to the report, Reese said that many years ago, when he was young, the fine was $29.

"Mr. Reese said that he tapped (the man) on the shoulder, turned around and walked back to his car and said, ‘your town council at work for you'," the report said.

Gartner said the report has been forwarded to the town attorney for review.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.