Camp Verde Marshal’s Office Marshal Nancy Gardner has been on administrative leave since Oct. 23. No information about what caused Town Manager Russ Martin to place Gardner on leave has been made public.
On Oct. 23, Martin said he expected the investigation into Gardner’s conduct, administered by an independent group, to take approximately two weeks. By Nov. 6, however, Martin had nothing more to add. Martin said he knew of the necessity of an investigation “since the few days at the end of the week prior” to placing Gardner on leave and moved to organize the independent group to conduct the investigation.
The group and its methods are not being disclosed. “As it is an ongoing investigation, we are clear of public information laws at this time to give the investigation the best chance at being unbiased and thorough, but following [the investigation], much if not all should be available,” Martin said, adding that any decision may be subject to an appeals process.
According to Martin, there is a 21-day limit in the town’s personnel policy regarding investigations, but it can be extended, which Martin will do if the investigation is not completed soon, in order to “ensure a thorough process.”
In the interim, Gardner remains on the town’s payroll. “She is on paid leave. Her salary, benefits, etc. continue at the rate it was,” Martin said. “She has the responsibility to be responsive and cooperate during this time but no other contact than that. It is an independent group that I assigned and await like the rest to see the results of their findings.”
The looming prospect of coming to a decision based upon the investigation, as well as accounting for the way the investigation was conducted, is not lost on Martin.
“As I have said, there will be plenty of time to second guess what happened here and how I went about this,” Martin said. “I am prepared for that.” Martin offered no time frame for another update from the investigation team.
Gardner has been the town’s top law enforcement official since 2012. CVMO Cmdr. Brian Armstrong is serving as acting marshal in the interim of the investigation.