The Pima County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Pima County Correction Officers Association, by an overwhelming majority their members have chosen to endorse Mark Napier. The organizations say the majority’s vote “can also be interpreted as an absolute lack of confidence in appointed Sheriff Nanos and his Chief Deputy, Chris Radtke.
In addition, the Pima County Corrections Officers Association has also endorsed Mark Napier for Sheriff. The Pima County Correction Officers Association (PCCOA) includes the vast majority of corrections officers and correction sergeants in the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. The Pima County Deputy Sheriff’s Association (PCDSA) includes the vast majority of deputies in the Department as well.
“Given the atmosphere of intimidation, coercion and retaliation that appointed Sheriff Nanos, his chosen Chief Deputy, Chris Radtke and select members of his command staff, has promulgated within the Pima County Sheriff’s Department; these votes took a great deal of courage and should send a strong message that the rank and file has a lack of confidence in Sheriff Nanos and Chief Deputy Chris Radtke,” reads the organizations’ statement.
According to the organizations, in the PCDSA and the PCCOA’s previous endorsement, “appointed Sheriff Nanos supporters and others challenged the PCDSA’s low voter turnout of 22%. We made this fact known to our hundreds of members. This time we had greater than 75% voter turnout with a staggering 80% voting to support Mark Napier.”
“Recently Mark Napier and Sheriff Chris Nanos were invited to speak with our members in a question and answer session. Mark Napier accepted our invitation. Sheriff Nanos refused this meeting with his own people calling the Q&A session fraudulent,” continued the statement. “Our members wanted to make an informed decision prior to their vote. Apparently appointed Sheriff Nanos was unwilling to face tough questions by those he is supposed to be leading. To date, despite requests for clarification, this accusation of fraud has not been explained.”
“Therefore, without reservation, and with a great deal of hope for the future of our agency,” concluded the statement, “the Pima County Deputy Sheriff’s Association proudly endorses Mark Napier to be the next Pima County Sheriff.”
In letter advising Nanos of the vote, PCDSA Chairman Kevin E. Kubitskey, and PCCOA Chairman Gilbert Padilla noted that Sgt. Terry Staten “approached the PCDSA and the PCCOA Boards and indicated his desire to endorse Mark Napier following his loss in the primary. Terry Staten based this decision on the relationship developed between Mark Napier and him through the meetings he had following the loss. Terry described Mark Napier as altruistic, professional, and humble giving him the observation that he was the potential leader this agency desperately needs. This information was held from the PCDSA and the PCCOA to allow for a fair decision in this endorsement. Votes were taken in an electronic fashion that was secure.”