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Secret Audio Recordings: New memo surfaces in PC Sheriff's Dept. money laundering case

Posted at 10:26 PM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 15:28:24-04

New information has surfaced in the Pima County Sheriff's money laundering case.  A new document that may not have been in the hands of the FBI.

KGUN9 has a secret audio recording of Sheriff Napier's response to whether the document even existed.

We do know the FBI received one memo that was used to indict former chief deputy Chris Radtke. This is a conspiracy case and Radtke confessed in federal court that his superiors were involved. After reviewing more than a thousand pages of documents, our investigation revealed widespread misuse among the commanders.

This is a 2013 memo turned over to the FBI warning top commanders, including Karl Woolridge, about possible misuse of RICO funds.

Several weeks ago, I received a tip from a credible source of another memo predating this one.

I made a public records request.

Lt. Joseph Cameron, who is in charge of the Records department, addressed that with Napier and recorded the conversation.

Napier told Cameron, "Some of this stuff is speculation and so many people are speculating. So many people are saying with conviction that Valerie Cavazos says well there must be a first memo. There might not even be a first memo. I don't know. I never heard of it. It could exist, but I don't know about it."

It does exist -- found in the financial administrator's computer and it reveals a line was eliminated.

"The guidelines also emphasize that the cost should not create the appearance of extravagance or impropriety." He said the department should "make changes as needed."

Ron Jee told KGUN9 that he removed it after he was told the term extravagant is subjective.

The annual awards ceremonies, costing on average $50,000 dollars, continued for two more years.

Legal experts tell me dropping that line could show intent and could spell legal trouble.

Cameron believes the commanders who knew about the misuse of RICO funds should be held responsible -- at least administratively.

Cameron says, "We're told we're held to a high standard. And the higher you go in an agency the more of a higher standard you are held to. I've been here 30 years. I know that if myself or anybody else did these things we would be out of a job."

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