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PCSD's Chief Deputy Radtke indicted for RICO funds misuse

The second in command of the Pima County Sheriff's Department, Chief Deputy Chris Radtke, has resigned his post after being indicted for misusing RICO funds forfeited by alleged criminal organizations.

Sheriff Chris Nanos announced Radtke's departure from his department late Monday night, saying that he had been informed of the case by the chief deputy earlier in the day.

Details of the case filed were not immediately available, as the case has been sealed. The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Utah has taken over the case after the Justice Department's Arizona prosecutors recused themselves.

Radtke "has since submitted his resignation and I will not comment on another law enforcement agency's investigation," Nanos said.

The department has been under investigation by the FBI for nearly a year regarding the potential misuse of RICO monies, which are the proceeds of money and property taken over by the government from alleged criminal groups.

Among the focuses of the federal probe were transfers of tens of thousands of dollars from the county's RICO account to the Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers, which were apparently used to fund tuxedos, flowers and entertainment for awards banquets. Those would be improper expenses for RICO funds.

Also examined by the FBI has been the department's purchase of about $20,000 in commercial kitchen equipment for an employee cafe within PCSD operated by Radtke's niece, who did not have a contract despite procurement rules.

The Arizona Daily Star's Caitlin Schmidt first reported the possible misuse of funds, and earlier this year, Schmidt reported that the FBI was investigating the department. 

FBI spokesmen, following their standard practice, will not confirm or deny that the bureau has been probing PCSD.

"In regards to RICO money expenditures, there is a stringent process in place with independent review from an outside agency. There is also an audit on the backend of all expenditures and we will continue to review all processes to make sure checks and balances are working appropriately," Nanos said in the prepared statement emailed about 10:08 p.m. Monday.

Nanos, the former chief deputy, was appointed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors on the recommendation of former Sheriff Clarence Dupnik when he retired last July, but the Democrat now faces an election challenge from Republican Mark Napier.

 After Nanos' appointment, the sheriff pulled Radtke back onto the force to be his chief deputy after his retirement about a year before.

Nanos did not reply to a request for comment on Radtke's case Monday night.

Also under FBI investigation for misuse of Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations funds is Sheriff Paul Babeu's Pinal County Sheriff's Department. The Republican is leaving his county post after the November election, having thrown his hat into the CD1 congressional race.

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3 comments on this story

Oct 11, 2016, 11:22 am
-1 +3

This type of thing comes out of the good ole boy network. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Gifting of taxpayer funds to special interest groups with no follow up is how the $250M was lost to Rio Nuevo. Pima County is doing the same.

Oct 11, 2016, 8:13 am
-1 +2

The question I want an answer to is why does Dupnik get a pass on this one? This misuse goes back to the days of his regime, and these shots were called much closer to the top of the command pyramid than the bottom. Either Dupnik knew about the misuse of RICO funds, or he should have. Either way, he’s liable, and he should have been indicted right along side of Radtke.

Oct 11, 2016, 7:57 am
-0 +1

Well, well, well…

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