Nanos Misrepresents FOP Endorsement, Deputies Challenge Claims

Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos

Members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 20 are outraged over claims made by Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos that he had received their endorsement. The claim by Nanos was made on Facebook and reiterated in an article in the Arizona Daily Star.

At the center of the controversy is a letter by the president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 20, Costaki Manoleas.  Manoleas penned a letter of support for Nanos without the consent of membership. Manoleas has been promised a promotion from Nanos that will result in  approximately a $30,000 raise, according to sources.

In that letter, which Nanos posted on Facebook, Manoleas claimed a list of accomplishments he wrongly attributes to Nanos. As a result, the deputies are questioning the veracity and timing of Manoleas letter to Nanos, and they should question it.

To be blunt the members of Pima Lodge 20 did not submit any endorsement for Sheriff Nanos, nor did our endorsements committee forward any endorsement to me for Sheriff Nanos. Sheriff Nanos does not have the endorsement of the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, stated John Ortolano, President, Arizona Fraternal Order of Police.

Nanos has refused to meet with deputies opting instead to send them a letter while his challenger, Mark Napier, has meet with them and answered all of their questions. In response to Nanos’ snub, The Pima County Deputy Sheriff Association and Pima County Correction Officers Association sent a letter to Nanos. It reads:

October 1, 2016
RESPONSE TO CANDIDATE LETTERS TO THE ASSOCIATIONS

Good afternoon Sheriff Nanos and Mr. Napier,

The PCDSA and PCCOA have provided your letters to our members.  Appointed Sheriff Nanos, your letter was provided through Chief Deputy Radtke on the evening of September 16, 2016.  This particular evening was set aside for you and Mr. Mark Napier to address the members in a question and answer session.  Both of you received invitations.

Mark Napier accepted our invitation.  Appointed Sheriff Nanos, you refused to attend this meeting with your own people calling the Q&A session fraudulent.  Our members wanted to make an informed decision prior to their endorsement vote.  Apparently appointed Sheriff Nanos, you were unwilling to face tough questions by those you are supposed to be leading.  To date, despite requests for clarification, this accusation of fraud has not been explained.

Mark Napier appeared before those PCDSA and PCCOA members present.  Our members asked hard questions, with audience participation.  Mr. Napier answered every question we asked.  We were not afforded the benefit of hearing appointed Sheriff Nanos’ opinions and positions regarding our inquiries.

The PCDSA and the PCCOA later learned that appointed Sheriff Nanos attended a political event. The PCDSA and the PCCOA highly respect this event; however, it raised concern appointed Sheriff Nanos was more interested in another political event than respecting the men and women of the agency.

As appointed Sheriff Nanos elected to write a letter, the same opportunity was afforded to Mr. Napier. We endeavored to deliver both letters to 100% of our membership. In addition, the PCDSA and the PCCOA asked members to respond honestly and openly to the two letters from the candidates. The Associations promised to protect the identities of individuals in this process as fear of speaking up is very real.

The following statements are based on member feedback and have not been altered or changed from content. The opinion of the Board remains neutral.

There was one response to Mark Napier’s Letter. There were a number of responses to appointed Sheriff Nanos’ letter.

———

“Hi Mark,

I unfortunately missed the great opportunity to have met you and hear you speak.  However, I did appreciate the opportunity to read the letter that you sent to PCDSA and PCCOA personnel.  I shared my disgust of Nanos’ unprofessional, childish and cowardice actions with the PCDSA and thought it was equally as important to share my praise of your actions.

When I was in graduate school in 2009, I’ll never forget a professor’s response when I told him that I was having difficulty on a project regarding interviewing appointed leaders in my organization for a leadership class project.  The difficulty was learning how to be a good leader from bad leaders at the top of our organization.  The professor said that much can be learned about being a good leader from bad leaders and that I was looking at it in the wrong way.  I’ll tell you, the light bulb came on and from that point forward I found myself constantly learning more ways to be a good leader from bad leaders.  Ironic, but none the less, this concept has served me well.  Our appointed Sheriff, Chief Deputy and many of the other members of this administration have (through bad leadership) taught me a great deal about how to be a good leader.  For this, I am grateful.  Bad leadership is obviously not the preferred method of teaching and developing personnel, nor is it the way any law enforcement organization should be lead.  For this reason, I hope and pray that you are successful in your candidacy and the answer to a much needed change in the PCSD leadership culture.  Otherwise, this organization will continue on its tailspin and generations of collective legacies will continue to erode.

Power and rank is meant to make great things happen, not to be self-serving, pure and simple.  When interacting with those I work with in the military, I tell them that the rank is not for me, but for them, the mission and to make great things happen.  To me, the greatest thing about power and rank is empowering and facilitating others to have the power to make great things happen.  This especially develops others to learn how to lead from behind.  I’m a firm believer in leading from behind because I’ve done it for years as a Deputy.  Put another way, you don’t need to have brass on your shoulder or be formally designated as a leader to be a leader.  This is especially true in law enforcement because every law enforcement officer is expected to (and capable of) being a leader in all aspects of what is necessary in service to our communities.  This capability is possible if you subscribe to certain concepts.  As a leader, you must train, organize, equip and lead people.  The mission comes first, but people always.  The most important part of any organization is its people.  The concepts in the previous three sentences is simple, however, the practice of these concepts is a daunting task.  I hope that you embrace these concepts, that they are cornerstones to your leadership practice and that you find (and maintain) a true north bearing when it comes to balancing being a leader and politician.

Nanos and his administration is hands down the worst group of so called leaders that I’ve ever had the misfortune of working with.  I know that these words are harsh because we do have some good leaders within our organization; however, because we promote what we tolerate, they are all to blame for tolerating the top brass of the PCSD to bully, manipulate and remain unchecked.  Thank you for stepping up to the challenge and for the work that you will do regarding the daunting task which you will have at hand if you are elected.  Since you came close last election cycle, you know what it takes to get it done this time.  If yard signs are available, I’d be happy to post one in my front yard and see if others would do the same. I’ll end with: “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter” (MLK) and a link to a pretty cool short motivational video about living (Everybody dies, but not everybody lives).  http://youtu.be/ja-n5qUNRi8…….Take care.”

There were a number of responses to appointed Sheriff Nanos’ letter.  Unfortunately for appointed Sheriff Nanos, not one letter was supportive.

The only input I would have would be to express my disappointment that the sheriff did not attend. In my humble opinion, if the sheriff thought that there was a preconceived notion of the outcome of the meeting, then that’s all the more reason he should have attended.

This was his avenue to look us all in the face and express his disenchantment with the process. While I understand that he may feel like this meeting would have been a waste of time, what he fails to realize is that we are all adults and capable of making our own decisions. Regardless of what our board leadership thinks.”

“I am very disappointed that you did not attend the Association meeting on Friday as many of us were looking forward to asking several questions, and hoping to receive a straightforward response minus the “political campaign speak.”  Since you chose not to attend based on some slight you felt was leveled at you by the association, I am left with no other option but to address the letter that you could not even send yourself.

You mention that we asked for comp time accrual to be raised to 120 hours per year from 80. You were able to get it raised to 100 hours; this is 50% of what we requested. Not a very good start to your letter.

You tout that you were able to resume paid overtime for court. This should never have been taken away, and I believe that this happened on your watch so is it an accomplishment?

You take credit for patrol sergeants receiving full time on call pay. I am confident that decision was made long before you were appointed a few months ago, so are you really going to try to take credit for that?

You say you “addressed decompression” and seem to be thrilled that you “appeared twice before the Board of Supervisors fighting for decompression and raises for employees.” Mr. Nanos, we made it clear to you that we wanted FULL decompression and to retain our step system. Not only did you fail in obtaining full decompression, you failed in retaining our step system. Sheriff Dupnik appeared in front of the Board of Supervisors and was able to broker full decompression for us, so what happened? Do you really want to consider that a “win” for your performance?

You were able to successfully increase our off-duty hours to 30 hours per week, I would hope that you would be successful in that endeavor since it was solely your decision. Many of us do not work off-duty because we like to, it takes us away from our families and extracurricular activities, we work off-duty to supplement our income.

In addition, as far as discipline, the purpose of progressive discipline and a matrix is so that administrators and commanders do not take advantage of the system. Based on the behavior of the administration lately, I would much rather have the matrix system.

You promised that if you did not secure full decompression for us, you would “stand shoulder to shoulder” with us when we filed our lawsuit. Since that promise seven months ago, we have not heard a peep from you, and then you stand with the BOS and say that the raises are fair. You take credit for Sheriff Dupnik’s accomplishments.

Based on these facts, you should not be surprised that many of us are ready for a change and refuse to bow to the pressure to blindly endorse you.”

“I would like for Sheriff Nanos to stop referring to the partial decompression, where most deputies got less than half what was owed, as a victory.  This is the second time he has referenced it as a completed item crossed off a to do list.  This fight if far from won.

As far as what else I want, Mr. Napier’s 5 page commitments letter was full of ideas.  90 percent of which I liked or have suggested myself.  uniforms, quarter-master, and 4 tens were low hanging fruit.  Please forgive me if I hold back my applause until Sheriff Nanos fights to get us something meaningful and difficult to sell to the BOS.  After 8 yrs, full decompression and a hefty cola should have been a given.

Lastly, I want a leader who’s as brave and honorable as the Deputies who go into harm’s way with me every shift.”

—-

“I saw the letter you had Radtke jot down for you.  It was just another example of your reckless leadership of our once proud agency.  You blame a purely fictional reason for no-showing deputies on Friday night who wanted to hear from you.  Soon to be Sheriff Napier, showed up, stayed late and didn’t shy away from anything.  Nothing in your reign has lead me, or the vast majority of my brothers and sisters, to believe you in any way deserve or are capable of leading us as an agency. You are a coward, bully and easily one of the poorest managers I have ever encountered. All command staff promotions under your reign have been for loyalty to you, not the agency.  Any type of promotion due to merit would have been welcome.   Anything you have done for “us” has been purely for your own gain.

Your appointment of Radtke to Chief Deputy, who is one of the most destructive forces  in this agency, sealed your fate with the rank and file.  You have purposely isolated yourself with a group of 10 or so current and recently retired commanders for years. You only surfaced when it was decided you were to be anointed.  It was nearly forgotten that you worked for the Sheriff’s Department unless it was tales of your ineptitude and temper tantrums. Your behavior in public forums is embarrassing, bordering on creepy.  You claim to be an emotional person.  I call it immaturity.

The division in this department right now has never been seen.  You missed an opportunity to effect change and show yourself as a leader, but you are just a jerk.  If division by rank wasn’t enough, you chose to divide us based on whether we blindly support your appointed reign. You went after Union heads with a vengeance breaking one of them with LT Bars. When you couldn’t get your way with it with the other it was a tantrum and no communication with the elected head of The PCDSA union.  Ironically, those of your ilk could learn quite a bit from our union President about leadership; making decisions for the greater good not himself.   The only reason this department maintains any credibility in the region are the hard-working men and women of this department, both sworn and civilian, that you and your co-conspirators look down on.

You were handpicked by the chosen ones to be a figurehead for their continuing corruption, not a leader of the majority.  Even your command staff recognizes that you are not a leader. Do you think any of us have forgotten about the FBI investigation?  Do you realize that 75% of the agency would dearly love to be the ones to handcuff every single one of you for a perp walk?

How would you handle a deputy of 5 years failing a drug test of hair and urine? It would be Admin Leave with a second test of hair and urine.  If that 5 year deputy turned in a letter of resignation first, he/she would suffer a paper cut as you ripped it from his/her hand.  Cue the same scenario with a commander.  No letter of resignation and a second/different manner of testing to ensure an administrative false positive finding. This goes against all common employment drug tests and practices at any of the contracted drug testing facilities.  Notwithstanding, this commander may very well reside in a narcotics warehouse and could have had incidental contact with the drug in question. Despite the positive drug test and ongoing investigation involving his son for trafficking in narcotics, you still felt it was acceptable to promote him.  Yet another missed opportunity to show equability and even some leadership, and instead you opted for cronyism AND FAILED MISERABLY.”

—-

“There are Deputies who should be topped out and only received a $3 hour increase, $5 below the topped out wage. It is a disgrace for a Sheriff to think we should be OK with his compromise.

Also you are out of touch with the deputies and detectives. When have you ever talked to us other than the March meeting.  I have run into you several times in the stairwell and you would think that you would ask what my thoughts are, but I always get the feeling you are in a rush to get away so you do not have to be confronted with the truth.

You had the opportunity to speak with us on Friday and used a lame of an excuse not to come. I believe you are afraid of what you would have to answer.”

“It is incredibly disappointing that you (Sheriff Nanos) elected not to attend the PCDSA meeting. In your letter, you state that you will continue to reach out to the Department members. Your lack of attendance is a glaring contradiction to that statement.  You blame the PCDSA Board members, referring to them as “a few disgruntled employees”, as your basis for not attending. Let’s for just a moment pretend that it is just a few “disgruntled employees”, you would blow off everybody else just to spite them?  And, please tell me Sheriff, when did you decide to attend the Mexican Independence celebration at Armory Park which was occur-ring at the same time as the PCDSA meeting? Was the prospect of campaigning to those in attendance more important than meeting with your employees that necessitated an excuse to get out of it?

I’d like to get back to your portrayal of a “few disgruntled employees”. If they are, why do you think that is? Something had to make them disgruntled. And if you think that there are only a few, you are either lying to yourself or completely oblivious.  The vast majority of your commissioned employees are fed up with the actual “mayhem” that has occurred under your “leadership”. You may not get this feeling since you have strategically insulated yourself with loyal cronies and a few ambitious individuals that are well aware of the corrupt and immoral activity that is occurring but have sacrificed their own principals in the name of seeking promotion or keeping their positions.

You have completely abandoned the good men and women that work hard every day. It is their dedication and performance that vicariously makes you look good because the general public does not realize that they do good work despite poor leadership. You are quick to point the finger and blame someone else for every legitimate concern that your subordinates have. You blame Dupnik for the rehiring of retired commanders. Did you not make it a point to tell everyone in the Department when you were made Chief Deputy by Sheriff Dupnik, that you had been tasked with “running the Department?” And allowing Radtke to back out of retirement only to make him Chief Deputy!? This was a huge blow to the Department. Despite the pay issues and everything else that was going on, the fact that Radtke would soon be gone was a small yet promising consolation prize for most members of the Department. Bringing back someone that you yourself has publicly described as a “bully” and placing him as second in command was one of the worst things that you have done to your employees.  The traditional chain of command has disappeared. Most of your captains and lieutenants are nothing more now than scared messengers that relay your inconsistent orders. You micromanage and interfere in just about every aspect of this agency all to ensure that nothing will happen that could hurt your chances in the election. Most of them will not say anything to you because they have been beat down or fear retaliation, but most of your commanders have been demoralized because of you and Radtke (not counting your few anointed ones).

You think that that last endorsement process was a farce.  I can tell you with all sincerity, the number of deputies that supported a candidate other than you is a staggering majority. The only problem is that most are too afraid to speak up because they are well aware of yours and Radtke’s vindictive nature.  Department members have seen what happens to those that show any appearance of opposition to you. The glaring hypocrisy and double standards that applies to those in your camp is infuriating. The scandal with Captain Anderson’s son and failed drug test, your interference with the investigation of Radtke’s nephew, the embarrassment of Lieutenant Parish’s obsessive trolling of your competition through social media, and not to mention your personal driver and campaigning partner Joe Cameron…. I’m really curious what would happen to one of those “disgruntled employees” had they pulled the same things that these guys have?

You have taken an agency that so many of us were so proud of and turned it into a bad sitcom. If you do end up winning the election, I pray that you actually focus on being a sheriff rather than a politician.”

—-

“After reading your letter and seeing the same rhetoric that you have falsely claimed on your Facebook page, I am beyond upset and angered at how you will go to no end for political gain.

You claim to have gotten decompression, how can you say that when you achieved to do what we all did not want and what we passionately expressed to you. WE did not want to lose our step plan. YOU called this fair. I have not seen a single fair thing in your choice making since you have become Sheriff. You hide secretly behind the media and fooling your constituents. If they knew half of what you have done the tower would crumble.

With the amount of exposure that has come forward, how can you ethically and morally stand in the position that you are in. You did exactly opposite of what you should have done as a leader. You childishly blamed the association of fraudulent behavior without proof or true understanding. This is quickly becoming your norm. Fast and quick reactions to situations that you do not fully understand. It is careless and reckless. The community, the deputies, and your constituents de-serve better than this. A true leader faces opposition or perceived opposition with courage and fearless presence despite being afraid or intimidated. Most of us know this.

Your obvious lack of trust and belief in all of us has been noted, measured and weighed. Unfortunately for you Sir, it comes up short…..”

“Since you, Sheriff Nanos, have taken over and even before then as the Chief Deputy, the following reasons have absolutely secured the decision of the deputies, correction officers, sergeants, and correction sergeants of this agency.

As Chief Deputy:

  • – As Chief Deputy, Sheriff Nanos, you continuously told all department members that you were given the reins to run the department by Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.
  • – As Chief Deputy, Sheriff Nanos, you continuously told department members to keep information quiet about what you were doing, so that Sheriff Dupnik would not get angry and stop it. (i.e. four tens).

As Sheriff Nanos:

  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you allowed Chief Deputy Radtke to violate retirement DROP laws and leave on a Friday to return on a Monday as Chief Deputy with a 20+ thousand dollar increase in pay.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you inserted yourself into pay negotiations only after accusations arose involving assault and bullying against you.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you created division among the FOP and PCDSA with numerous derogatory emails sent to all users following accusations of assault and bullying.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to achieve full decompression.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to keep our step plan in place, as we requested.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to back the Associations in the announced law suit as you promised you would do if full decompression wasn’t achieved.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you attacked the F.B.I. for opening an investigation into Po-lice Corruption, Misappropriation of Funds, Witness Tampering, Evidence Destruction, and Conspiracy.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you refused to meet with your subordinates.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to address serious issues identified by the PCDSA that were mailed to you identifying serious concerns by your employees.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you passed poor and incorrect information on fellow candidates.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to properly investigate the suicide of Brad Gagnepaign.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to address the numerous concerns of evidence tampering in the Brad Gagnepaign suicide.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to look into previous criminal offenses provided to you by the PCDSA, FOP, and PCCOA as it applied to Brad Gagnepaign prior to his suicide.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to address criminal behavior by several of your commanders.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to properly investigate Captain Anderson for the positive drug test.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed by covering up numerous issues and criminal complaints within the department and among high ranking officials within Pima County.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to address the interference with the Mansion House Party Investigation that was preplanned and contained an Operations Plan and a Superior Court Warrant.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to debate the issues that we are all concerned with.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you failed to truly listen to and hear your employee’s. Every-thing from making knee jerk decisions to trying to and creating division among the members of the department.
  • – As Sheriff Nanos, you have failed

—-

Sadly the Sheriff’s “Good ol’ boy” system has more damaging effects than just the anointed ones high up the chain.  Leadership policies like this can be reflected on every level, rank, and in every division.  I have seen first-hand people who lacked experience and professionalism, getting selected for career advancing positions and trainings.  A professional law enforcement agency should be completely devoid of favoritism and nepotism.  Our mission to protect and serve the people of Pima County is diminishing in its effectiveness and efficiency due to outstanding employees getting glanced over in favor of less qualified but “likeable” people.  “Less what you know, but who you know” practices cannot lead to a desirable outcome.  As a Marine one of the first things you learn about leadership is that the people you lead are a direct reflection of you.  It astonishes me to no end how “leaders” like Nanos and his cronies haven’t had a bigger negative influence on the department as a whole.  I credit the work ethic, integrity and professionalism of the front line staff (not command staff) as the reason we’re a great organization.  It would be nice to have leaders I could share this credit with.

—-

The statements above were made by deputies with the understanding that their identities would remain anonymous as they fear retaliation. The letters have been verified by Board members.

The PCDSA and the PCCOA pray that, despite the rank and file’s lack of FAITH and CONFIDENCE in appointed Sheriff Nanos and Chief Deputy Radtke,  the community understands that the low morale and lack of leadership that currently exists will in no way translate into our compromising our fundamental duty which is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all people to liberty, equality, and justice we will continue to serve them humbly and with the respect they deserve.

—-

Not only has Nanos refused to meet with deputies, he has refused to participate in any candidate debates.

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