Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio: Persecuted For His Political Beliefs?

Categories: City Hall
Sal DiCiccio.jpg
Councilman Sal DiCiccio
Is Councilman Sal DiCiccio playing the victim card?

The councilman claims he has been the target of attacks over his political beliefs that city services should be privatized and city employees are overcompensated.

DiCiccio was in a city meeting and unavailable for comment.

In an e-mail blast asking for support (read money), DiCiccio says the "bullying really kicked into high gear" when he took to the Legislature Senate Bill 1322, which would require Phoenix and Tucson to get bids from private companies for city services other than public safety.

DiCiccio filed a police report on March 19 over faxes he has been receiving from a Phoenix labor union fax machine. He said some of the messages contain mean names and one has "what appears to be a silhouette" of DiCiccio at the center of a target.

James Tierney, president of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) Local 2384, is named in DiCiccio's police report as an investigative lead even though the fax machine wasn't linked to Tierney's union.

Luis Schmidt, the union's vice president, takes exception to the implication that Tierney was in any way involved.

"It is disappointing to have an elected official for the City of Phoenix making false allegations about a city employee and the AFSCME president," Schmidt tells New Times. "Mr. Tierney has never made any type of threat, nor would he condone anyone else doing so."

Schmitdt calls for a public apology from DiCiccio, and says employees "have always been in favor of looking for savings and doing more with less."

But he says certain groups that offered political backing to DiCiccio should not be exempt from budget cuts.

It's no secret that the firefighters union rallied for DiCiccio's appointment to the City Council when Councilman Greg Stanton left in 2009 to take a job at the Attorney General's Office. And, given that DiCiccio's anti-Public Safety Manager Jack Harris stance meshes perfectly with the police union's stance, it's no surprise that cop shop lends him its support as well.

DiCiccio takes credit for "exposing a system where exmployees can walk away with hundreds of thousands of dollars of your money at retirement."

But what DiCiccio fails to mention is that it isn't the average employee who is walking away with hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is the highly paid administrators and police officers and firefighters eligible for a special-retirement plan.

Yet when DiCiccio decries the heavy burden that employees create for the average taxpayer, he always excludes police officers and firefighters from the equation.

It is disingenuous to say the average employee compensation is $100,000 when the only way to reach that "average" is by including public-safety salaries.

Their salaries alone make up more than 70 percent of the city's budget.

DiCiccio uses their salaries to create a perceived problem, but then shields them when budget discussions roll around.

"If you removed the civilian employees from the equation, the overall compensation cost would be astronomically high," Tierney says. "It's our salaries that drag the average down."

New Times called Pete Gorraiz, president of the Phoenix Firefighters Union, to get his take on DiCiccio blasting a fellow union. He was said to be unavailable.

DiCiccio's e-mail also includes a police report he filed on June 3, 2010 after noticing an 18-inch scratch on his car.

While his e-mail states his "car was vandalized in a secure parking garage that only city employees can enter," that isn't what the 2010 police report says.

DiCiccio told police he made "two stops earlier in the day and believes that the damage was not there at the time" [italics ours].

A parking garage camera wasn't trained on DiCiccio's car so it is impossible to say where the damage actually occurred.

Without reading the police report -- and only going by DiCiccio's e-mail -- you would be left with the distinct impression that a city employee was responsible for the damage.

It's the type of truth-twisting in which DiCiccio excels.

Schmidt says he once asked DiCiccio why he didn't go after the police and fire unions with the same cost-saving vigor that he has for the civilian unions.

Schmidt recalls DiCiccio's answer: "Political suicide."

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13 comments
livin it
livin it

This out sourcing was tried in Pittsburg, Boston and Los Angeles and fail miserably. When the dollar amount of the contract runs out, the work stops. City employees don't work to make a profit. Business are in business to make a profit. I have seen repeatedly a business wins the "LOW" bid. And in less than a year they are out of business. Some of the existing contracts only have one bid submitted when there put out for renewal and the same company gets it. Some of the work is not sub standard, and when they take it in for warranty some venders want to charge the city again to even look at it. Where is the "SAVINGS"?, Often The City "employees" are the one who in the end finish the job.

Incredible
Incredible

Sad day in government when one councilman, from local government, can run to the state legislature and have them fight "his" agenda. Sal should realize that if the rest of the Council is in disagreement with his agenda - then the agenda is BAD for the City and the citizens !

linbo4
linbo4

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Not surprised
Not surprised

Sal DiCiccio needs to stop being a GWI puppet and do his job for the city council, city employees, and residents, AND work with his fellow council members.

If he wants to operate at the state level, he should resign and run for a state office.

guest
guest

Your hypocritical comments are tiring Sal, you fooled Channel 10 and turned their story about City employees into your story an untruthful story. Your formula for employees was in correct! You want to destroy families with city employees who work hard. The possible repercussions of your unhidden personal agenda to rise to your top will damage Phoenix families. You only have your self interest in mind. Have you forgotten to mention that you as a city employee collect these same benefits. You are not appreciated by many constituents either in District 6, you are not a benefit to any of us.

Mmersch
Mmersch

When will Sal stop the blatant lies against city employees. Anybody who watches Channel 3 is blindsided and Ch. 3 are irresponsible reporters only telling his side. Sal Diccio has only one interest, his own agenda. He has been making false statements since he took office and the public including his so called constituents in District 6 not! are tired of his lies. Give it up Sal

Tom Red
Tom Red

Way to stand up for the little guys!!!

Can't fool us anymore
Can't fool us anymore

I watched Sal up-close for most of his city council career. He is EXACTLY the kind of dishonest, in-it-for-himself, perk-chasing politician he pretends to hate. He is the very problem he describes in his diatribes against better servants that he will ever be. He is the epitome of a tax-supported life. Termed out on the Council? Run for Congress. Lose your Congressional race? Run for Secreatary of State. Lose that one? Lobby for reappointment to the Council -- and start all over again with a fresh THREE TERMS. And, by the way....collect a City-pension at the same time. What a fraud.

linbo4
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straightout
straightout

Its about time someone disclosed Diccicio's city civilian employee bashing. He is trying to score political points with the Police and Fire Unions and at the same time taking his own negative stance to the public.Not once has he mentioned that he is actually DOUBLE-DIPPING .Come clean Sal and tell the real truth. Not just how you see it.

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

Out source his job. Politicians are always so quick to send someone's job somewhere let him experience it first hand. City councilmen should only serve one term. All politicians should serve one term and receive no pension or benefits when they're done. It should be an honor to serve. It's not supposed to be the key to your future.

Marksan101
Marksan101

I heard rumors that fire and police have an extremely sweet supplemental "gravy train" retirement package.

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