Condolences are pouring into the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in response to the sudden death of Bradley Gagnepain, Pima County Sheriff’s Department Chief of Staff. Gagnepain, the focus on an FBI investigation, took his own life Sunday night.
“There is no easy way to express the heartfelt sorrow we feel for the Gagnepain family and close friends during their time of loss. Nancy and I hope they will find comfort in the memories of the man they knew and loved and we will pray that God will provide them strength and peace through this difficult time,” stated Sergeant Terry Staten on Facebook.
Gagnepain was considered by many to be the mastermind behind many of the more questionable practices of the Sheriff’s Department. After being appointed to replace former Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, Chris Nanos named Gagnepain, who had retired, as “Chief of Staff,” a position that had never existed before. In that position, Gagnepain oversaw the inner workings that are now under investigation by the FBI.
Gagnepain first made headlines in 1992 when he was caught stealing campaign signs belonging to Dupnik’s primary opponents. He and his partner in crime at the time “admitted to the theft and it cost them each five-day suspensions without pay. A Justice Court judge later dismissed the misdemeanor charges against them,” according to the Tucson Citizen.
In an email to employees on Monday, Nanos wrote, “We lost one of the great leaders and visionaries in our department’s history. Brad Gagnepain was a behind the scenes leader, the man behind the curtain, who had his fingerprints on so many of the successful programs and events in our department. Although, as a true leader, he took credit for none.”