Apache Junction officials will review a 1,000-page document detailing allegations of misconduct regarding Jay Swart, the newly hired second-in-command of the city’s police department.
City Attorney Joel Stern picked up the paperwork from the state’s Department of Administration, in charge of overseeing the Arizona Capitol Police where Swart formerly served as a captain.
Stern and Apache Junction Police Chief Glenn Walp, who hired Swart six months ago as a civilian administrator, will review the allegations, city officials have said.
The review of Swart’s background comes in the wake of a Tribune investigation which found allegations that Swart was a dictatorial manager who was the focus of no less than four internal investigations last year by Capitol Police.
Walp led the Capitol Police in 2001.
The potential misconduct included dishonesty, providing false information, insubordination and following improper procedures.
Last May, an inventory of Swart’s Capitol office turned
up items that had been impounded from previous cases: A crack pipe, marijuana and an empty envelope that was supposed to contain cash. An officer conducting the inventory didn’t know why they were in Swart’s possession.
Apache Junction’s leaders appear to be taking the allegations seriously.
City Manager George Hoffman read a statement at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that emphasized Swart is a temporary employee who is acting as a “staffing bridge” while the department hires senior leaders.
Swart was brought onto the force by Walp without the rigorous background check normally required for peace officers.
“The chief knows that the City Council and I expect the highest level of honesty, integrity and professionalism within the department,” Hoffman said. “I anticipate, therefore, he will offer the data his closest and strictest scrutiny.”
Hoffman indicated that Swart might not be needed for the duration of his two-year contract. The city is now performing background checks on two candidates for three captain positions on the police force and anticipates extending offers.
The city is expected to create a deputy chief position in October, but recruitment for the post has not yet begun.
“The filling of these full-time positions will substantially diminish the need for temporary assistance,” Hoffman said.
Neither Hoffman nor Walp could be reached for comment Thursday.
Vice Mayor E.R. Eck Jr. said that he has heard complaints from city employees about Swart and the “baggage” of the allegations.
Swart was brought to the police department to immediately fill a void of senior leadership, Eck said. And his hiring was largely due to Walp’s recommendation.
“Of course, we have the confidence that he is going to bring in someone that’s quality,” he said. “We’ll definitely do background checks from now on.”
Eck said the council will be waiting on the review of allegations about Swart.
“I can’t stand learning from the media information about employees,” Eck said. “It’s very frustrating if that’s factual.”