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Mayor praises handling of marshal investigation

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Two months after Camp Verde Town Manager Russ Martin placed Camp Verde Marshal Nancy Gardner on administrative leave, Mayor Charlie German said the investigation is ongoing with no new updates to town council.

Gardner was placed on leave Oct. 23 for undisclosed reasons. She remains on payroll. In the interim, Cmdr. Brian Armstrong is acting as marshal. According to Martin, a department of Arizona Department of Public Safety has taken on the investigation.

“I think what I’ve gotten in my conversations with people is that they’d like to know but they understand an investigation is underway,” German said Friday, Dec. 22, praising DPS but agreeing with Martin that such investigations are often attenuated due to other involved investigations by DPS throughout the state. “Anyone who’s been involved in these operations knows that they move slowly,” German said.

According to German, DPS recently altered its investigation protocol to release information about the investigation, including any recommended disciplinary action, to both the “political entity” — in this case the Town of Camp Verde — and the public via release.

“Before, they would kind of rely on the release of that [information] to the political entity,” German said, adding that DPS generally provides the information to the political entity first and then to the public. “Camp Verde will also be releasing this, but people won’t have to just rely on us. That approach prevents things being swept under the rug ... which they shouldn’t be.”

German said it is unclear what is being investigated and by whom at DPS.

“I’m led to believe there at least two departments under the auspice of investigation,” German said. “A criminal one and others.” Instead of conveying the impression that everyone is in the dark about the nature of Gardner’s conduct, German said that citizens can be assured of a thorough and impartial process — the proof of which is that people are not jumping to conclusions, but waiting for definitive word from DPS.

“Believe me, when I compare what’s happening in Camp Verde with the federal level, I think we’ve set the bar as far as investigations are conducted,” German said. “I know there’s conjecture going on, but there’s been so little lambasting happening in the media and elsewhere.

“I’ve been very impressed with the level of professionalism as to the way this is being handled.”

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