By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Former embattled Pima Town Manager Jeff McCormick was arrested for DUI early Sunday morning.
According to a Safford Police report, McCormick was in a red sedan southbound on 8th Avenue at about 12:39 a.m. when he made a right turn onto 11th Street without using his turn signal. The officer initiated a traffic stop due to the moving violation and observed McCormick to display signs of alcohol ingestion, including having a “flushed” face, bloodshot and watery eyes and an odor of alcohol on his breath.
The officer inquired where McCormick was headed and he allegedly said he was on his way home. His residence is still listed as being in the town of Pima.
McCormick initially wouldn’t answer where he was coming from and then advised he was traveling from a friend’s house. The officer asked how much he had to drink, and McCormick said he had two beers a few hours prior to their interaction, according to the report.
After failing a field sobriety test, the officer attempted to administer a portable breath test but McCormick refused. He was then told he was under arrest for DUI and initially started to pull away from the officer when being handcuffed, but the officer took control of his wrist and took him into custody without incident, according to the report. Another officer stayed on scene until McCormick’s vehicle was towed for a mandatory impound.
At the Safford Police Department, McCormick declined to submit his blood for testing purposes. The officer informed him that a refusal would cause the Motor Vehicle Department to suspend his driver’s license for a year while it would only be suspended for 90 days if he submitted. The officer then gave McCormick time to contact an attorney, but after a while, McCormick said he could not get in touch with an attorney at that time in the morning.
McCormick still refused to submit to the test or sign any of the officer’s paperwork, so the officer drafted a warrant to compel him to submit to a blood draw. The officer then re-read the repercussions to McCormick, who then agreed to have his blood drawn for testing purposes.
By this time two vials of blood were taken, roughly two hours had passed since the initial traffic stop. The blood will now be sent to the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Crime Lab for testing, and a DUI charge is pending the results.
After giving his blood, McCormick then signed the officer’s paperwork and was given a ride to Pima and dropped off near his residence.
McCormick came to Pima from Show Low after being offered the town manager job in August 2013. He came under fire after issuing an edict trespassing four women after an incident at a National Barrel Horse Association event at Vard Lines Memorial Roping Arena on Oct. 29, 2015. The women infamously became known as the “Pima 4”.
A $500,000 lawsuit against McCormick and the town was eventually filed in federal court in July 2016 and was settled in 2017 for an undisclosed amount.
After receiving a poor performance evaluation from the Pima Town Council, McCormick resigned from his position May 23.
McCormick is currently self-employed with Caledonian Consultants, which performs service as a rural development consultant. At the end of October, it was reported that he was one of four finalists for a new economic development director position for Santa Cruz County.