Veterans In Politics, International, Inc. (VIPI) reports wasteful spending of tax dollars by Sheriff Douglas A. Gillespie of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:

Steve Sanson
Veterans In Politics, International, Inc.
President
702.283.8088
veteransinpoliti@cs.com
http://www.veteransinpolitics.com

Karen Steelmon
Veterans In Politics, International, Inc.
Civilian Auxiliary Director
Events Coordinator
702.238.5134
Karen.VeteransInPolitics@usa.com
http://www.veteransinpolitics.com

Veterans In Politics, International, Inc. (VIPI) reports wasteful spending of tax dollars by Sheriff Douglas A. Gillespie of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Las Vegas, Nevada, December 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Sheriff Douglas A. Gillespie is now asking the Nevada Legislature for even more funding for Fiscal Year 2013.

There has been a mismanagement of tax-payer funds by Sheriff Douglas A. Gillespie to date, on many levels, including; continuing to pay officers who have been involved in fatal shootings; utilizing policies that resulted in officers being found legally responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians which cost tax payers even more in large settlements against the LVMPD; approving an extravagant headquarters building that will cost tax payers for decades to come; yet forcing officers to provide for their own safety equipment.

Sheriff Gillespie has squandered funds purchasing radios and implementing a system known to be faulty at $42 million dollars payment made to Desert Sky Digital System from tax payers.

While making pay cuts and benefit decreases of more than $8M, LVMPD opened a new 307,500 sq. ft. department building located at 400 S. Martin L. King Boulevard, in mid-2011. This building is a LEASE which will cost over $12M/year, for 30 years.

Millions of dollars of security and other upgrades are still needed for the department to function properly. These necessities were knowingly cut out of the original bid items to meet the construction budget with every intention of being added after the completion of the building.

2,184 Commissioned positions are paid for by a special “sales tax initiative” and are kept in a separate fund from the Sheriffs annual budget, but the funds needed for these positions are included in the annual budget report, which requests $501,307,011 for FY 2011/2012.

As stated by many LVMPD employees, officers are forced to purchase their own safety equipment such as bullet proof vests, and operable radios, while upper management is adding new positions such as “chief of staff” and “sheriffs assistant”, as crime and population have decreased.

Crime has gone down, population has gone down, property values that provide most of the funding for LVMPD have gone down, yet the Sheriff has allocated $118,402,736 in the requested budget for NEW officers in his 2012 budget request. In June 2012, Gillespie asked the City of Las Vegas and Clark County for an additional $68 Million. Gillespie suggested the budget could be cut in a variety of ways, such as ordering a hiring freeze and canceling two scheduled police academies, leaving 104 police officer positions and about 70 civilian positions vacant, trimming gasoline usage and overtime. Many of these positions were added during the 2004 boom. But that boom is gone and has shrunk, it should not be a hardship to the Sheriff’s Office to cut back on them now.

There are also large expenditures for SWAT with almost 40 operators, DHS, and undercover units. Traffic has the largest Harley Davidson fleet in the country with over 160 officers. Are these necessary, or frivolous spending of tax dollars?

Moving violation ticket quotas are creating criminals out of citizens for the sake of raising revenue to provide more funding for an already over-funded office. Officers are given accolades for numbers of arrests made. Funding and budgets should never be based on laws broken. This assumes not only guilt on the part of everyday citizens, but creates incentive for all officers of the LVMPD to focus on creating criminals for the sake of gaining funds, when focus should be on protecting and serving citizens. In this country, citizens are innocent until proven guilty, not guilty based on how much money the City needs to increase.

Sheriff Gillespie has made it a policy to retain, or neglect to suspend or dismiss officers who have not only broken the law but cost tax-payers absurd amounts of money.

An internal investigation by LVMPD found that Lieutenant Sean Donnelly abused overtime in 2006 and 2007 in the amount of approximately $1,800. The internal affairs department recommended firing Lieutenant Donnelly (according to Sheriff Douglas Gillespie), but Sean Donnelly chose to retire on July 5, 2007 before the investigation was complete. The investigation showed that Donnelly had violated the overtime policy. 

Paul Page was the chairman of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Managers and Supervisors Association. He was accused of misappropriating $38,521 in union funds. He was placed on PAID administrative leave in November 2010, and in January 2011, HIS union members voted against filing a criminal complaint against him. Rather than being charged with a crime, in December 2011, Page was approved for disability retirement by the Public Employees’ Retirement System, after 18 years as an officer. The cause of his disability was never publicly stated. Page was once a member of the Public Employees Retirement Board. Page is also a certified fraud specialist. Page and his brother Kevin Page, a university regent and investment banker, serve together on a nonprofit, the Police and Fire Emerald Society of Nevada, raising scholarship money. He was never charged with any crime. There are so many conflicts of interest here it is mind boggling.

Since 2008, LVMPD has settled out of court and paid victims in 152 separate incidents costing taxpayers more than $6.5 million, Including nearly $2 million so far in 2012.

According to reports, The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has cost taxpayers an average of $1.1 million dollars a year in settlements over the past four years.

 2008: Metro wrote 25 checks for a total of $1,001,595 2009: Metro wrote 37 checks for a total of $1,386,812 – 2010: Metro wrote 36 checks for a total of $728,814 – 2011: Metro wrote 42 checks for a total of $3,206,996 As of April 2012: Metro wrote 12 checks for a total of $1,907,000 TOTAL OVER FIVE YEARS: $6,514,918 involving up to 152 officers.

How many of the officers who were involved in these settlement cases are still employed by the department and receiving tax payer salaries? Many still wear a badge or have retired with full benefits. Very few have received discipline of any kind.

Much of the $1.9 million dollars of the payouts this year went to the family of Trevon Cole. In January, $1.7 Million was paid from LVMPD, (the department’s single largest settlement ever) to the family of the unarmed man gunned down in his bathroom by narcotics detective Bryan Yant, during a drug raid, the legality of which is still in question. Yant currently remains on LVMPD payroll, receiving a total of $131,051.08 in 2011.

Since the late 1970’s, more than 90 LVMPD officers and civilian employees have been implicated in documented instances of police misconduct and/or actual criminal activity, with several incidents resulting in lawsuit settlements in excess of a million dollars apiece. With more than 30 years experience, Gillespie has failed to improve the circumstances at LVMPD or use tax payer’s money wisely.

VIPI does not support the decision to provide even more funding by the honorable people of Clark County for a Sheriff who so flagrantly abuses the funding they have graciously provided him to date.

In December 2012 Sheriff Doug Gillespie went before both the Clark County Board of Commissioners and the City of Las Vegas for support of a quarter cent sales tax increase. The Sheriff only received a majority vote from both branches of government  to take before the 2013 Legislatures. While Commissioners and Councilmember’s worry about Public Safety nobody, is considering that Gillespie has a major problem budgeting  his police force and the tax payers are always flipping the bill.

It is the goal of Veterans In Politics, International, Inc., to educate, organize and awaken our veterans and their families to select and support Veterans representatives, and to vote intelligently. We strive to create a better world and to protect ourselves from our own government(s) in a culture of corruption. We will be the political voice for those in other groups that do not have one. We will stay involved and active in our political process, and keep our elected officials aware of our Veteran and their needs. Veterans In Politics International, Inc., is non-partisan and not for profit.

Join our Nevada representatives in supporting our Veterans In Politics.

Visit http://www.veteransinpolitics.com to learn more, and become involved.

Veterans In Politics, International, Inc., founded in 1994

To keep those who fought for our country’s freedoms involved in its political direction.

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