Four members of the Glendale City Council and the city clerk have been indicted, accused of violating financial disclosure laws and then attempting to cover it up, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Maricopa County Attorney Richard Romley said the five have been accused of violating campaign financial disclosure laws and then attempted to cover it up by tampering with or destroying public records.
Indicted Monday were Vice Mayor Thomas Roy Eggleston, and Councilmen David Goulet, Steven Frate and Manuel Diaz Martinez. City Clerk Pamela Hanna was also named in the 16-count indictment.
‘‘This is wrong,’’ Romley said. ‘‘We have to hold elected officials to a standard."
The four council members failed to file financial disclosure statements for 2002, prosecutors said. Then, at Hanna’s suggestion, the council members backdated documents in an attempted coverup, according to prosecutors.
Glendale city spokeswoman Julie Frisoni said business in the West Valley city will go as normal.
‘‘Until something happens, they are just charges. The council members can continue in their capacity,’’ she said.
However, if the council members are convicted of a felony or misdemeanor concerning moral turpitude, Frisoni said the city charter requires them to step down.
The council has seven members, including the mayor.
Since Hanna is appointed by the council, her employment fate rests with the members, Frisoni said, adding that no action had been taken to change her status by Tuesday.
Former City Attorney Rick Flaaen tipped prosecutors off about the backdating, court records show.
Flaaen told prosecutors that he advised the city clerk against backdating the documents before anything happened.
Flaaen later resigned over allegations that he viewed pornography on a city computer which he had at home.
He has since filed a $1.3 million claim against the city for wrongful termination.
The consequence of turning in a late disclosure would have been a $500 fine.
Romley said that while the case may have started as a mistake, it was the
ensuing actions that were so flagrant.
‘‘This is not about being late, but about a cover-up,’’ Romley said. ‘‘There has to be honesty in government. If you don’t draw the line here, where do you start?"