Separate Mohave County Attorneys office investigations targeting embattled member Vic Riccardi were scheduled for possible discussion during the June 15 meeting of the Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District (NACFD) governing board.
The office opted not to take action for an alleged training compliance failure, but continues a conflict of interest investigation that’s initial focus was award of NACFD vehicle repair work to Riccardi’s shop in Valle Vista.
NACFD attorney Bill Whittington noted publicly that the matter was discussed in executive session and it was Riccardi’s option to make any statement during the open part of the meeting. Riccardi declined to do so, but was defended by his friend, Rick Veradt.
“I’ve know Mr. Riccardi for over 17 years and I know him to be an honorable man who should not be subjected to half truths,” Veradt said. He said Riccardi is being blamed unfairly for various fire district problems.
Veradt said a recall effort, criticism by Mohave County supervisor Jean Bishop and firefighter union President Chris Simpson, and one-sided publicity takes aim at Riccardi as a scapegoat.
“He’s being vilified. I’d like to know why,” Veradt said. “I’d like to know why everything is coming down on this guy who has done nothing but give his time. I think it’s BS.”