Chandler police begin an internal inquiry today to determine whether to fire a suspended officer accused of conducting illegal records checks for two men under investigation by state and federal authorities.
Police Chief Sherry Kiyler said Wednesday she expects the department’s investigation of officer Bradley Forward, who was indicted Tuesday on 10 felony counts, will take no more than a few weeks to complete.
“We have a lot of rights as police officers and not abusing them is an obligation,” Kiyler said.
The grand jury alleges Forward, a seven-year employee with the department, misused police computers and his position to illegally search records from January 2005 until last month for two Chandler men, Edward Purvis and Gregg Wolfe. The men were principals of a Scottsdale nonprofit now under investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the FBI.
Those authorities are looking into allegations the Christian organization, Nakami Chi Group Ministries International, violated securities laws and defrauded investors.
Kiyler said her department learned on Oct. 16 that the state also was looking at Forward’s involvement as part of its investigation of the nonprofit.
He was suspended three days later.
“The concerns that were brought forward were significant enough that I felt compelled to place him on administrative leave,” Kiyler said.
Forward was a patrol officer at the time.
Prior to that, Forward had worked three years as a detective in the family
crimes unit, where at one point, he wrote in a self-evaluation: “I have a good foundation of knowledge in regards to rules, policies and procedures.”
“The department waited until the conclusion of the attorney general’s investigation to start its own inquiry because the two must be kept separate by law,” Kiyler said.
Forward’s personnel file shows he was suspended for one day in November 2004 for failing to show up for work three times over the previous three years.