Michael Collins: no political interference during Brown investigation

Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone involved in the tragic accident that claimed the life of Paradise Valley resident Howard Brown. We can only imagine the lasting pain it has brought. Please know that you are in our prayers.

Michael Collins

Michael Collins

Today I share with the community my observations relating to the accusation of political interference with the investigation of the accident.

I have known Paul Dembow for several years. We have worked side-by-side more often than not. His passion for the Town is unquestioned. His leadership for the Town has made a difference. I consider Paul to be a friend.

Sitting in a room with Town Manager Kevin Burke and Police Chief Pete Wingert, I had the opportunity to watch and discuss the police officer bodycam videos and the Scottsdale police report from that unfortunate day. Chief Wingert had asked the Scottsdale Police Department to handle the accident investigation in large part to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

Nothing I have watched, read or learned to date causes me to believe that any inappropriate political interference or pressure occurred at the scene of the accident, later at the home, or during the resulting Scottsdale police investigation.

As parents we would all do most anything for our children. Fortunately in this instance there is police bodycam video available to give us insight to the events as they unfolded.

The current Brown family claim against the Town is a legal matter that will run its due course. Intense scrutiny of police officer actions at the scene of the accident and during the investigation will certainly occur.

But I have no reason to believe that any elected official has attempted to interfere with or influence the outcome of the accident investigation from that tragic day.

Editor’s note: Mr. Collins is the mayor of the Town of Paradise Valley

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