Two weeks after placing Camp Verde Marshal Nancy Gardner on administrative leave, Camp Verde Town Manager Russ Martin has little more to say on the matter.
On Oct. 23, Martin notified Gardner of her status and pending investigation, but would not share further information with the media regarding the nature and scope of the issue in order to guarantee a thorough and unbiased investigation.
According to Martin, Gardner handled the news professionally. In Camp Verde, there are two types of administrative leave: Suspension for actions taken and suspension due to pending investigation. “[The latter] is the case here,” Martin said the afternoon of Oct. 23, adding that the town would be investigating the reasons for Gardner’s forced leave to “clear the air” and to avoid the perception that Gardner was receiving “special privileges.”
“At this time, I have turned over the investigation to an independent group and I will wait until they have concluded their review before taking any further steps,” Martin said Oct. 31.
“I expect this may take several days to do and again ask for patience as we work through this process.” Martin confirmed that he expected to receive news within two weeks of the date of Gardner’s placement on administrative leave.
“I will reevaluate the time frame that I started with last week next Monday,” Martin said. “So either way you should expect to hear from me no later than Monday [Nov. 6], even if it is an update on time/expectations.”
On Oct. 23, Martin said that “at some point, all of it becomes public — as I have opportunity to share, I will.” Martin said the morning of Nov. 6 that the investigation had gone on longer than expected. “I thought I’d be done by this point,” Martin said, adding that he has requested to speak with the investigation team in the afternoon, after which point he will release any new information to the public.
Martin reiterated that should the investigation team need more time, any update would consist of a revised timeline for the likely release of concrete information regarding Gardner’s conduct.
Gardner has been the town’s top law enforcement official since 2012. Prior to that, she spent five years with the Avondale Police Department and 16 years with the Gilbert Police Department. CVMO Cmdr. Brian Armstrong is serving as acting marshal in the interim of the investigation. Armstrong, a former lieutenant with Arizona Department of Transportation, joined CVMO in June.
This is an ongoing story. Updates will follow online and in print.