Pima County Sheriff Chief Deputy Radtke Pleads Not Guilty In RICO Abuse Case

Pima County Sheriff Chief Deputy Chris Radtke entered a not guilty plea today in federal court. Radtke has been indicted for the misuse of RICO funds.

Standing next to his criminal defense attorney Sean Chapman, Radtke appeared nervous but confident. Some said he appeared almost defiant.

The judge advised Radtke that a plea deal can be entered by November 4, at 3:00 p.m., or if he does not take a plea, his trial is set for November 22, at 9:30 a.m.

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According to witnesses, Radtke arrived at the Pima County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday in his County-owned vehicle. He entered through the back door with his credentials. He was allowed to walk through the building freely to say his goodbyes to his former co-workers. Shocked Sheriff Department employees questioned how, given the fact that he has been charged with federal crimes, he was allowed to walk through a building that holds confidential and/or otherwise sensitive information, without an escort.

With Pima County deputies among the lowest paid in the state, Radtke first made news when Nanos manipulated the hiring system to secure Radtke a top position in the Department.

As the ADI reported in September 2015, Radtke advised the ADI in an email response on August 11, 2015: “Chief Chris Radtke current salary is $142,894.37. Effective Sept 6 promoted to Chief Deputy Salary of $164,840.00 (same as former Chief Deputy Nanos).”

Chief Deputy Brad Gagnepain, who took his life earlier this year under pressure from the FBI investigation, was the supervisor of Radtke’s son. The younger Radtke was given a job in the Sheriff’s Community Resources department, and out of the other departments under his father’s control in order to avoid charges of nepotism.

“At his rate of pay, the elder Radtke was earning nearly four times the median income of a new deputy, who responds by himself to completely unknown situations in the middle of the night when all the 9-1-1 operator can hear is screaming on her end,” said one long-time Sheriff’s Department employee today.

From: Christopher Radtke [mailto:Christopher.Radtke@sheriff.pima.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 6:31 AM
To: editor@arizonadailyindependent.com
Cc: Chris G. Nanos; Brad Gagnepain; Buddy Janes
Subject: FW: new re-organizational changes to the department

Sheriff Nanos asked that I send you the following information you requested:

Sheriff Nanos salary is set by Arizona statute at $100,824.00. Sheriff Nanos salary as Chief Deputy was $164,840.

Chief Chris Radtke current salary is $142,894.37. Effective Sept 6 promoted to Chief Deputy Salary of $164,840.00 (same as former Chief Deputy Nanos)

Assistant Corrections Director India’s current salary is $104,062.40. Effective Sept 6 promoted to Corrections Chief salary of $135,000

Senior Executive Advisor Mr. Bradley Gagnepain current salary is $104,998. Effective Sept 6 Mr. Gagnepain is taking on additional duties and responsibilities to include management/supervisory responsibilities for the same salary. NO SALARY INCREASE

Chiefs Karl Woolridge and Byron Gwaltney are being reassign with no salary increase. Current salaries are $142,896.00

To help put salary increases in perspective for promotions, I offer the following additional data:

Last four Sergeants, Lieutenant and Captains promoted and salaries before and after:

Lopez $62,677.47—$70,636.80
Seeley $62,677.47—$70,636.80
Payne $62,677.47—$70,636.80
Lappin $49,324.08—$70,636.80

Lowing $75,965.97—$103,022.40
Dominguez $72,394.82—$103,022.40
Spinney $75,965.97—$103,022.40
Copfer $73,128.64—$104,066.56

Janes $103,026.00—$121,492.80
Lopez $104,066.56—$121,492.80
Theel $110,312.38—$121,492.80
Johnson $110,325.28—$121,492.80

In addition, the vacated Assistant Corrections Director position will not be filled. There will be a promotional process for Corrections Captain to take on duties and responsibilities performed by the Asst Corrections Director. Filling the corrections captain position will be an anticipated cost savings of $20,000. Of course the successful candidate for the corrections captain promotion will receive a salary increase but unknown what that will be until the successful applicant is identified.

Thank you.
Chief Chris Radtke

About David Ahumada 162 Articles
David studied journalism at Northern Arizona University. After graduation he began writing for the Arizona Daily Independent.