A Gila River Police Department sergeant resigned from his job last May after he was investigated for allegedly sexually harassing female colleagues and subordinates, Phoenix New Times has learned.
In March 2021, a Gila River Police Department commander forwarded a memo to the agency’s internal affairs sergeant that discussed “inappropriate behavior” allegedly committed by the sergeant in question, Anthony Cardinale, according to Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (AZ POST) Board records obtained through a public records request. (AZ POST manages certifications for law enforcement officers in Arizona.) The memo detailed “inappropriate remarks, emails, text massages, and photographs” that had been directed to various female employees at the department — some of whom were his subordinates.
During the course of an internal investigation into the allegations, various women said that they had received communications from Cardinale that were “sexually suggestive and inappropriate.” One woman said that Cardinale had sent her a picture of his penis that was “unsolicited and unwanted.” The misconduct allegedly occurred on different occasions between 2019 and 2020. When questioned as part of the probe, Cardinale admitted to the conduct.
On May 13, the department sent Cardinale notice of its intent to fire him due to his alleged conduct. The letter further noted that Cardinale admitted to sending text messages to his “direct subordinate” that commented on her body and conveyed his “desire to touch her body” while on duty.
Cardinale, who had worked at the Gila River Police Department since 2008, preemptively resigned that same day, the records state. He made a little over $83,000 in 2019 as a Gila River police officer, according to govsalaries.com.
At a September 15 AZ POST meeting, the board voted to begin the process of potentially revoking Cardinale’s certification to be a law enforcement officer in Arizona.
The Gila River Police Department did not respond to Phoenix New Times’ request for comment. Attempts to contact Cardinale were unsuccessful.