The rumor mill has been going full tilt since Chief Denardo’s suicide about this time yesterday. None of the rumors have been 100% correct but I have spoken with two people outside of City government that were close to the Chief along with a number of off record interviews I will not go into but this much we do know now officially, that the ATF had received “unsubstantiated criminal intelligence” about the Chief but had not opened a formal investigation when the Chief tragically took his own life. Kevin McGill and Rebecca Santana have the skinny for the AP:
“ATF had not opened a formal investigation but had received to this point unsubstantiated criminal intelligence regarding the chief’s activities,” Denham said.
“We had not approached him. We had not confronted him.”
He said barring DeNardo’s death, the agency would have moved forward to investigate and confirm or dispel the intelligence. He could not give details on what the intelligence was about.
Slabbed has been told a bit more about the subject matter but it has not been officially confirmed. I will say this, the ethical tone for an entity is set at the top. Auditors are taught that time and again, if the CEO is unethical then they will have lots of company in their organization. At DMR we saw that exact scenario in the story Slabbed broke about the brother in law contracting in the artificial reef program. This concept will again manifest itself in the Bay. I will disclose this, indications strongly are that the Chief is not alone in terms of potential wrongdoing as other current and/or former employees have also been implicated to the ATF and as the facts bubble up, its likely the Bay will be shaken to its core. There is no way to candy coat it folks.
But that’s not all and it gets potentially worse. To get a clue on the worse we need to visit with Wes Muller’s story from this morning for the Sun Herald:
Falgout said he had been receiving calls and messages of concern from other city officials since news of De Nardo’s death broke.
He said one important concern was the whereabouts and security of De Nardo’s files pertaining to certain investigations, as well as other general police department cases.
De Nardo was known to keep meticulous notes and records pertaining to the U.S. Department of Justice police forfeitures investigation. The city came under investigation by the DOJ and the State Auditor’s Office regarding the apparent mishandling of $300,000 in federal money.
The council, in the past, relied on De Nardo’s records when making decisions regarding that case.
That said the local rumor mill has outrun what we now know for certain. Earlier this afternoon I spoke with Council President Falgout, who had no comment on the ATF receiving information on the operations of the Bay PD or Chief Denardo’s files but he did tell Slabbed New Media there were no emergency Council meetings scheduled regarding City personnel as Slabbed reported earlier as a developing rumor on Twitter. Slabbed has confirmed that the Chief Denardo’s files have been secured. How the contents of those files manifest themselves down the road is the place to be watching. There is more to come.
The AP has updated its story and breaks more bad news:
Hancock County Chief Deputy Don Bass told The Associated Press that Bay St. Louis police chief Mike DeNardo illegally sold one city-owned assault rifle, and that authorities were looking into allegations that other city-owned weapons were sold.