UPDATE: State taking over investigation into misuse of RICO fund - Tucson News Now

BREAKING

UPDATE: State taking over investigation into misuse of RICO funds

Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Department) Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Department)
Former Chief Deputy Chris Radtke (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Department) Former Chief Deputy Chris Radtke (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Department)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The state confirmed on Tuesday, July 11, that it will be taking over the investigation into the misuse of RICO funds at the Pima County Sheriff's Department, according to Mia Garcia, spokeswoman for Mark Brnovich, AZ Attorney General.  

Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier had requested that the Arizona Attorney General's Office investigate the misuse of RICO funds. 

Napier's request comes weeks after former Chief Deputy Chris Radtke received probation for stealing public money for personal use.

READ MORE: Fallout from PCSD Chief Deputy resignation I Indictment against former Pima County Chief Deputy released I Former Pima County Chief Deputy Radtke pleads guilty I Former Pima County Chief Deputy Radtke gets probation

Radtke pleaded guilty in Federal Court on Feb. 10 to three misdemeanor counts of theft of public money in the money laundering and theft case.

Napier said Radtke's comments during sentencing led him to make the request.

"During the sentencing, it was revealed that a criminal conspiracy existed at the department for nearly two decades with respect to the inappropriate use of RICO funds," Napier said in a news release. "Some in the community and within my department feel that others may have culpability, and the sanction provided was inadequate given the scope and apparent vast nature of the offense."

Napier said while the FBI looked at the case from a federal level, some state laws may have been broken, too.

"I have requested the Pima County Attorney's Office to initiate a review of the evidence to determine whether any state laws have been violated," Napier said in the release. "It is possible they will recuse themselves. In that event, I requested the matter be brought to the Arizona Attorney General for review. The FBI has assured me they will fully cooperate with any state level review and concur with this course of action."

The following is Napier's complete statement:

Prior to my taking office there was an extensive federal investigation into the misuse of RICO funds at the department. This resulted in a single person being indicted on several federal felonies. In February, Mr. Radtke pled guilty to federal misdemeanor violations and was sentenced to probation. During the sentencing, it was revealed that a criminal conspiracy existed at the department for nearly two decades with respect to the inappropriate use of RICO funds.

Some in the community and within my department feel that others may have culpability, and the sanction provided was inadequate given the scope and apparent vast nature of the offense. Since the sentencing, I have reviewed many RICO records and discussed this matter with the FBI on numerous occasions. The federal investigation reviewed the evidence from a federal law enforcement perspective. The present question is whether this investigation completely addressed all criminal conduct and bad actors from a state perspective. Further, what, if any, additional avenues could be appropriately explored to ensure public confidence in the resolution of the matter. This has been a laborious process and has involved a lot of deliberation.

After extensively conferring with the FBI, obtaining legal advice, and doing considerable research, it appears there may be another avenue available that could be explored. The Doctrine of Dual Sovereignty would allow for the review of this matter from a state perspective to determine whether state laws had been violated with respect to this conduct. This review would allow us to put to rest any additional speculation regarding dispensation of the matter and ensure public confidence in the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. Additionally, we could confidently declare that we exhausted every avenue available to us.

I have requested the Pima County Attorney’s Office to initiate a review of the evidence to determine whether any state laws have been violated. It is possible they will recuse themselves. In that event, I requested the matter be brought to the Arizona Attorney General for review. The FBI has assured me they will fully cooperate with any state level review and concur with this course of action.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department has a proud and distinguished 152-year record of service to our county. It is important that we put this matter behind us in the most appropriate and professional manner possible.

MOBILE USERS: Download our Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly