Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman says he has never been afraid to take on criticism for his actions, but hearing Dillard's department stores dragged through the mud got to be too much for him.
Berman said he returned a suit, valued at $1,200, given to him after he wore it in a newspaper advertisement promoting the store's October grand-opening at San Tan Village. The mayor said in a text message that he gave the suit back months ago.
"I returned it because of the negative things being written about Dillard's," he wrote.
Julie Bull, a spokeswoman for the department store chain, could not confirm Friday that Berman gave the suit back, and that the company would decline comment on the matter. Phone messages to Berman seeking further comment were not returned.
Berman has faced criticism both for the suit and for accepting a Ford truck given to the town in May 2007 for his use. More recently, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office began investigating an abuse claim made by his wife in June.