Reaction Swift To Secret Pima County Sheriff Recordings

“Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier spoke with a representative from Senator Claire McCaskill’s office. Their conversation included the impact of the border wall on the southwest region and how to best address border security.” [Photo and caption from Pima County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.]

Reaction has been swift to comments made by Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier and his decision to call for an investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office into the misuse of RICO funds. On Friday, Manuel van Santen, President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Pima Lodge 20 released a statement calling for the investigation to be “thorough, fair, and impartial.”

Napier’s comments were featured in an investigative report by Valerie Cavazos for KGUN 9 News. Lt. Joe Cameron turned over recordings he made of conversations with Napier to Cavazos. Napier told Cameron that he believed most of the leadership the Department were guilty of misusing RICO money.

Related articles:

Pima County RICO Abuse Spanned Years, Reform Welcome

Open Letter: Pima County Sheriff Napier Requests State Investigation Of Rico Fund Misuse

Radtke Sentenced To Probation, Community Service In Pima County RICO Case

Napier told Cameron that the Attorney General’s Office “had no intention nor did they have any desire “to investigate the misuse of RICO funds. In fact, they think it is silly.” He claimed that he “looked a little silly for even asking them.”

Napier stated that Karl Woolridge, Deanna Johnson, and Byron Gwaltny who were all promoted to chief by Napier, and other leaders, “admit to me” that they misused funds.

Napier told Cameron, “A lot of people here did not follow the rules. I’m positive of that. All of my chiefs didn’t follow the rules.”
In fact, as the ADI reported in August, Johnson bought herself ball gowns with RICO funds, and Woolridge rented a tuxedo for the annual extravagant parties the Sheriff’s hosted with RICO funds.

In his letter to Napier on Friday, Manuel van Santen states that his members are “greatly disappointed to hear the recent information provided by Lieutenant J. Cameron.”

“We know that this is has been a one sided story at this point,” wrote van Santen. “It is currently perceived that you and/or other members of this department have information about this misuse of public funds and have chosen to only hold those accountable that stood in the way of your current position. We will be anticipating your response to Lieutenant Cameron’s allegation of your knowledge and alleged in-action to hold other department members responsible.”

According to sources, Napier’s supporters in and out of the Department have already begun threatening retaliation against Cameron and Cavasos.
“We, the members of the Fraternal Order of Police, Pima Lodge 20, agree that the information provided recently by Lieutenant J. Cameron needed to be given to our community so we can put this situation to rest. We recognize that the way the information was gathered could possibly be in violation of department policy, which we do not condone. Based on the initial investigation by the FBI, our department has new procedures in place to spend RICO funds appropriately,” read a press release from van Santen sent earlier on Friday.

“We ask that this ongoing investigation be thorough, fair, and impartial. We, like the community, want those responsible for misusing funds held accountable. We want the Sheriff to fulfill his promise to our community that those county employees whom played a part in this violation of trust would be held accountable, whether through internal discipline, or charged criminally,” continued the press release.

“We appreciate those people who continue to exhibit courage by coming forward with information. We hope that those that do come forward have gathered the information appropriately,” concluded van Santen.

Aaron Ludwig, the Managing Director of The Counterracketeering Group and an expert on RICO funds, believes that the only way for an audit to be impartial is for it to be conducted by a person or organization outside of government. “I don’t see how a RICO funds audit or investigation conducted by the attorney general can be impartial because that office handles RICO funds the same way as the Sheriff’s Office.”


  1. Sheriff Napier may be the only Pima County official who hasn’t yet been corrupted. The FBI has already been shown to be subject to corruption. If the voters had any sense they would vote all of these turkeys out of office,

  2. Ppl ppl ppl collectively we are all correct.

    I called the Arizona AG Office and they stated, they we’re NOT conducting a investigation. Only the FBI and it concluded it investigation.

    Did you think any prosecutor would go after one of there own? Really your not that ignorant ( less you been drinking the Trump cool aide).

    The money has been abused I feel certain for decades. To unearth this would implicate yes Chuck Huckleberry, members of both political parties current and former elected officials.

    Why do you think BOS does all things they do? Anyone …just continuation of cover ups and abuse and lots of illegal activity.

    Let me suggest the only results you will get is any prosecutor saying that why there are inpropieties none will rise to the level that demands prosecution.

    This suggest that we have done all we do, expose the truth. But Voters still put CA and Chuck Huckleberryand gang back In office for another four years.

    Don’t take it so hard mi gente , when your ready you can change out all corrupt elected folks. Then after honeymoon period new ones have no ability to change because… The system is so rotten it can only function when it done illegally.

  3. Nothing but a rehash of everything. Time for a new story. Let’s look at all the meaningless jobs that are given to political friends and others at the County. Too many overpaid supervisors and managers that are under worked. A lot of these jobs need to be combined and reduce the management staff. Let’s start looking on how to reduce government spending at the county level rather than just raising taxes all the time

    • George, I agree. Since taking office we have not filled the Chief Deputy position, the Chief of Staff position, reduced by one the number of Chiefs, Captains and Lieutenants and reduced two admin positions in the Sheriff’s office. These steps alone saved taxpayers almost one million dollars per year. We started the new year with a projected deficit of over 6 million and in six months reduced that by more than half. After the first month of the new FY, we are right on budget. In 10 of the last 14 years the Sheriff’s Department has been over budget. We are working hard to live within our budget, which is hard because we are not fully funded. Thanks, Sheriff Napier

  4. “Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier spoke with a representative from Senator Claire McCaskill’s office. Their conversation included the impact of the border wall on the southwest region and how to best address border security.”

    The Missouri Democrat said in a conference call in the spring that she toured the border by air, land and water in Texas last week and went to briefings with U.S. border security officials. She says border patrol officials expressed a need for better technology and updated facilities.

    The senator said extending the wall would require the “controversial” acquisition of private lands by the government.

    Since Senator Claire McCaskill is in opposition to the wall Some one should ask the genius Napier what his position on the proposed wall.

    • David, glad you asked. I say secure the border now! The lack of security is a public safety issue, a national security issue and a human rights issue. We should do that through barriers, technology and human resources. We have to use all of them to really secure the border. This should not be done in San Diego, but right here in Arizona which is the front-line of the problem. We have to secure the most challenging areas first, not those that are the easiest to see. I am not a genius by far, but I am proud to be your Sheriff. Thanks, Sheriff Napier

  5. From Above

    Napier stated that Karl Woolridge, Deanna Johnson, and Byron Gwaltny who were all promoted to chief by Napier, and other leaders, “admit to me” that they misused funds.

    Napier told Cameron, “A lot of people here did not follow the rules. I’m positive of that. All of my chiefs didn’t follow the rules.”

    Nice Try bryan, What ever happened to the rule of law. I know if my boss told me to do something that was against the Law I couldn’t use that as an excuse In front of the Judge.

    I don’t know what Napier had in mind promoting deputies who consistently broke the law and abused the use of RICO funds for personal benefit. It is about time in this country that the “law” is blind to occupation. LEO’s should be held to a higher Standard not lower.

    From the tone of your comment you sound like a Napier Cronie or at least a wannabe.

    • The FBI said, that’s it. no more proof. So now a sheriff is going to go after them without proof? Good way to get a lot of lawsuits. What happens? We, the tax, payer ends up paying the people who we know were not following the rules and now they are getting rich off of us.
      Yes, we need to end the corruption. But if you advocate doing the lords work, just don’t complain when someone like Lt. Joe thinks you’re the bad guy. Then they come after you.
      It’s all fun and games until, “The rule of law” is used on you.

      • Bryan, not going after them with no proof. Would not do that. My desire is to exhaust all avenues available to ensure that those who are criminally responsible are prosecuted. The AG is the last avenue available to me to criminal prosecute people. If no crimes have been committed by those still in my department, as indicated by the FBI investigation, then I will decide what should occur administratively for failing to follow RICO expenditure guidelines. I want to ensure everyone has due process and we restore the integrity of PCSD. Thanks, Sheriff Napier

    • You could use the excuse that my boss told me to break the law if the judge deciding the case was one appointed by Democrat Obama and if your boss was Nanos, a Democrat. That is why Radke was given such a disproportionately lenient sentence. He was offered a laughably meaningless plea deal by the Democrat U. S. Attorney, considering the enormity of his crimes, (the Department of Justice was run by Democrat Attorney General Loretta Lynch) and the deal was then approved by a Democrat judge. Under Obama, even the judges have rejected the rule of law in their effort to create a people`s “paradise” here on earth.

      • Luke, the Attorney General is a Republican. I hope that his investigation will ensure that ALL criminally responsible parties are prosecuted. The only avenue left available to me for criminal prosecution is the AG. Let’s respect the process and let the AG do their work. Then I can decide what administrative consequences should occur. Everyone should hope that their Sheriff would respect the criminal justice process and the due process rights of everyone. Thanks, Sheriff Napier

  6. Read the above article again…

    It’s all been reported before. The dress, the tux, the…everything. This is a set of recordings that show the new Sheriff is exasperated with the process. All the names dropped in this article have been in previous articles.

    The only irony of this article is that Lt. Joe Cameron seems to be trying to get Napier fired/politically hurt because Napier isn’t going after the command staff. The irony is that Cameron (not his real name) was previously fired for a very similar thing that couldn’t be proven. You would think that the LT would understand that you shouldn’t be doing that as law enforcement.

    Instead of understanding the rule of law, Lt. Joe just wants to do the, “Lords work”. The problem with that is that sooner or later you’re not really doing the, “Lords work” but just hurting people out of spite. That’s not a good thing for any law enforcement.

  7. “Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier spoke with a representative from Senator Claire McCaskill’s office. Their conversation included the impact of the border wall on the southwest region and how to best address border security.” [Photo and caption from Pima County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.]

    Why is a LEO who has been in Southern Arizona for such a long time asking a representative of a Senator from Missouri about border Security.

    • They are the democrat party. They don’t care about border security or we wouldn’t have the crisis we have.
      Probably asking what they can do to stop Trump, what they can exploit for propaganda. The race card isn’t working much anymore.
      Politicians don’t call other politicians unless they are wanting something.

    • David, the Senator serves as a top ranking member of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. They reached out to me to learn more about border security at a local level. I pressed the need for additional funding on the border and significantly increased border security measures. Additionally, we spoke about the impacts to local government and public safety because the federal government has failed to secure the border for the 30 years I have been here. Funding needs to stay on the border. Often it gets directed off to other efforts. I try to be a strong voice for Pima County on these issues. Thanks, Sheriff Napier

  8. So much for the rule of law. That is for the little people. The PCSD is corrupt. Pure and simple. And Chuck H and Barbara L are complicit.

    • Working Man, let’s see what the AG comes up with. I am confident they are taking the review seriously. There are a lot of great, professional and dedicated people at PCSD. PCSD as a department is not corrupt. The FBI only indicted one person after a long and through investigation. The AG is now reviewing it again. Looking at it again is an additional step to ensure people that should be criminally prosecuted are prosecuted. Let’s try to respect the process, it will take time. I do understand how some feel that respecting the process is a stretch. I hope you would expect your Sheriff to have some respect of the process and the due process rights of everyone. Thanks, Sheriff Napier

  9. From the Article Above:

    Napier told Cameron that the Attorney General’s Office “had no intention nor did they have any desire “to investigate the misuse of RICO funds. In fact, they think it is silly.” He claimed that he “looked a little silly for even asking them.”

    It appears that the NEW Sheriff for Pima county has fallen right into Line even to the extent of asking the Attorney General to Waste resources to help Sheri?? Napier to further bury the fact that he kept the RICO Recipiants and even promoted some. I guess it is because they willingly obeyed an order that caused them to openly break the law to benefit themselves and others.

    During the election Napier did a good job of selling the fact that he was the New “honest” Sheriff in town. This will certainly scuttle any plans to run for Congress. I’m sure there is a spot on Chuck’s Bobble Board.

  10. Dig through all this mess and I am pretty sure that you will find Huckelberry at the bottom of it all. Noting happens in any department of this county that he doesn’t know about or institute. He didn’t want Nanos as sheriff in any way, shape or form. He wants a lackey and doesn’t have one. Now the Dumnuts hold overs want to try to take Nanos down from the inside and are using slime methods to try to do it. It seems that any means justifies the ends when the Huckster is involved doesn’t it.

    • I agree it would be great if we had a law Enforcment agency to prosecute them all.

      Just curious who did you vote for?

      • Law enforcement agencies don’t prosecute anyone. That is the job of the Pima County Attorney’s office. If I remember correctly there was two previous articles in the media about this. One implicated the County Attorney because she has to sign off on the RICO expenditures for the Sheriff’s office. And two, she declined to prosecute.
        That would be a good reason why a new Sheriff would ask the AG’s office to investigate and prosecute. They declined.
        So what is a Sheriff to do? Administratively they can fire, discipline, etc. But there still needs to be some proof. So can we say we know that someone was not following the rules when speaking to a subordinate who just wants revenge on the other commanders for his firing? Sure. But that’s a heck of a long way from actually firing them and not losing lawsuits because the new sheriff can’t back them up.
        Here on the interwebs we can pontificate all we want, but in the real world there is an alt-middle. We would do well to find that place if we want local gov that gets better over time.

        • Bryan, the corrupt County Attorney had her own problems with use of RICO funds. There is no way Barbie would handle a prosecution of the Pima County Sheriff. BTW the County Attorney’s Office is a law enforcement agency.

          You are sounding like maybe Napier’s brother in law. We should not settle for less than honesty in the application of the Law. From what you have said I’m sure you are happy Hillary has been protected from prosecution for her crimes.

        • Nope, don’t know any of them, but I know of them. It’s easy to complain on the comments page. Hey, it’s your right. But when the story about shocking admissions by the new sheriff is actually a bunch of old news. And much of that news is old quotes that the new Sheriff had said in public to reporters before the release of recordings.
          The only new stuff is the naming of names. It’s one thing for the Sheriff to say what he said to another Lt. But it is opening the department to lawsuits when the Lt starts releasing that info to the news.
          As I said, there is a way to get rid of corruption and there are ways to do the lords work. When deputies start doing the lords work it sometimes backfires.
          It will be a sad irony if when Lt. Cameron can’t support that release he will not be seen as a whistle blower. He might end up being a witness in a lawsuit that will give those commanders a lot of tax payers money.
          It is not wrong for this paper and the quoted reporter to question Lt. Cameron’s motives. Make no mistake about it, if there is a lawsuit he will be explaining it on the stand while under oath. It’s also not wrong for us to question the Lt. motives. If I’m not mistaken the Lt has previously been fired by PCSO. The department couldn’t support that firing and had to give him his job back. Is there something new and bad about the Sheriff said or is there something bad about the Lt trying to hurt the department and individual commanders that may have had a part in his firing? Did they deserve that? I don’t know, but again if the Lt can’t support it in court he just hurts the departments efforts to get a new culture of non-corruption.
          So my whole point is not to support any one person, but to ask, what within the context of the law should Napier do? Fire them all is a nice statement that shows our frustration, but it has nothing to do with the reality of modern day elected office.

      • Huh, law enforcement does not prosecute. The FBI through the U.S. Attorney only sought prosecution of a single person, Radtke. Having only one prosecution avenue available to me, the AG, I requested they conduct an additional review to be sure that anyone who was criminally responsible was in fact prosecuted. Now we should let the AG do their work. I did have some concerns in the beginning, because it is unusual to ask for something to be investigated that already had been investigated. I was not sure the AG would take it seriously. I have talked to the AG and his team since that time and am confident in the review. Personnel at PCSD have Merit Commission protection. I cannot just summarily fire people. I would hope you would want the Sheriff, of all people, to respect the system and everyone’s due process rights. When the AG is finished, I will decide what administrative actions should occur. Also, I have no idea who Bryan is. Thanks, Sheriff Napier

        • Sheriff,

          I assure you I am not another mole inside your department. You’ve got enough of that. LOL. I’m just an old retired LEO living the good life in northern Arizona. I’ve heard the rumors of certain people through the grapevine. But I don’t know any of you personally. I also am not speaking about what’s going on in your department as a matter of fact. I am speaking of it from the standpoint of how departments work, as you say, the required due process and sadly, as I suspected in this case, the risk of an employment law violation perpetrated by a member of the command staff.

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