USGT senate calls on Tempe City Council to remove Kolby Granville from office

Senate Resolution 13 called Granville's behavior 'unacceptable for any member of the community, let alone an elected official'

A recent resolution passed by the Undergraduate Student Government Tempe senate is asking the Tempe City Council to remove Kolby Granville from his position, pointing to multiple accusations of sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior.

Granville, an ASU alumnus, has been accused of sexual assault and providing alcohol to minors, going back to his time working at Tempe Preparatory Academy and continuing into his time in office. 

The allegations were made public on Jan. 18, 2018, when The Arizona Republic published an article about Granville being fired from the Tempe Preparatory Academy in relation to the accusations during his time at the charter school.

The USG resolution, which was passed on Tuesday with 11 votes in favor and three abstentions, demands that the city council ousts Granville immediately, citing the accusations and Granville's proximity to ASU students as reasons for the requests for removal. 

As a student, Granville was involved in USGT and continued to work with the organization after he was elected to office. 

But not all members of USGT were pleased with Granville’s continued involvement. 

According to Senate Resolution 13, "members of USGT have refused to attend events with Mr. Granville due to unwanted advances from him," and students had warned each other to avoid Granville – particularly, to avoid being alone with him. 

Ryan Magel, a junior majoring in political science and the USGT senator who introduced the resolution, wrote in an email that he brought forward the legislation because of how Granville's actions have impacted the way USGT works with the city council. 

"It had gotten to the point where members of USGT were explicitly told to not meet with him out of concern for our peers safety," Magel wrote. "I hope the actions of the USGT Senate will help the city council to see the impact that Kolby Granville has had on their relationship with ASU."

In addition to the resolution, two letters were submitted to the public drive, one from former Vice President of Policy Kenzie Johnson and the other from former President Brandon Bishop. 

Johnson, who graduated from ASU with a degree in political science in 2017 and is now a second-year law student at Georgetown University, addressed Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell and the other members of the city council in her letter

Johnson said that during her time in USG, she "was made aware of Granville's reputation" and took care to avoid interacting with him, even though she worked with other council members.

"I was told he had acted inappropriately towards multiple young women involved in student government over the years including contacting them over social media, asking them on dates or other social visits, and making them uncomfortable in person," Johnson wrote.

She added that once she became an executive officer, she directed her staff to take similar precautions to avoid Granville. 

In his letter, Bishop, who also graduated from ASU in 2017 with a degree in political science, reiterated Johnson’s accusations, writing that Granville’s conduct was inappropriate to the extent that "many of the women who I worked with would not want to go to events/meetings alone if they knew he would be there."

"He uses his access to students who want to engage with the city of Tempe about real problems affecting students to harass the young women at Arizona State University," Bishop wrote. "A public official should have the trust of their constituents, but Mr. Granville violated that."

In a memo written by an outside counsel hired by the city to look into the allegations, a City of Phoenix detective in the adult sex crimes unit was referenced saying that all three women involved in the investigation "seemed very insecure and vulnerable" and "were the perfect type of victims for an older man who had been in a position of authority to target."

The detective, referred to as "Detective Mose" in the memo, said that she believes Granville specifically chose the women involved as they would be "easy to manipulate," because of their "vulnerability, sexual identity struggles and overall insecurities," according to the memo.

Last fall, Tempe voters approved Proposition 418, an amendment to the Tempe City Council charter that would allow the council to remove a council member with a five-sevenths vote on the grounds of "unlawful conduct involving moral turpitude, fraud or corruption." 

While Granville said that the accusations surrounding him possibly contributed to the writing of the amendment, he said in a Facebook post that his opposition to the amendment was because he believed it was vague and could be applied in bad faith in the future. 

The Tempe City Council is holding a special meeting on Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m., where it will hear from the public on the issue and then discuss taking action to remove Granville from office. 

Granville did not respond to requests for comment by publication of this article.


Reach the reporter at krquaran@asu.edu and follow @kiaraquaranta on Twitter. 

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter. 


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.