NBC News3: Counties & Cities in Nevada Spend $2M on Employees Who Weren't Working! 32_NBC3_paid_to_not_work

June 28, 2024 10:51 AM

1. We’re talking about paid administrative leave — how much did each of the three governments spend and how does it compare to previous years?
A: People can be on paid administrative leave for a number of reasons: allegations of wrongdoing, a pending disciplinary action and being suspended with pay.
But they can also take leave for work-related training, attending a conference, as well as for medical reasons.
Clark County spent over $814,000 on paid administrative leave in 2023
Las Vegas paid $384,000
N Las Vegas $220,000
Henderson $545,000 ($480,000 were to cops), totaling just under $2 million
In 2022, Clark County, Las Vegas and Henderson spent just over $1 million. This year we have N. Las Vegas included, which we didn’t have last year. But most of the increase year-over-year comes from Clark County, which more than doubled over those two years.
2. Who got paid admin leave and why?
The cities of Henderson and Las Vegas gave us records with employee names and in some cases, some indication of why they took leave. Clark County and N. Las Vegas gave us no employee names, let alone reasons for leave, so we can’t really analyze their spending.
Starting with Las Vegas, last October, Las Vegas firefighter Ryan Nimmo was arrested and charged with a DUI and hit-and-run after he crashed his truck into a car and cause life threatening injuries for the other driver, ran from police, resisted arrest, was uncooperative – he got paid $3,000 for paid administrative leave.  That was the second DUI he was charged with, one in 2015.
Six other Las Vegas employees were out for investigations by the Employee Relations Division and were paid between $14,000 and almost $28,000.
In Henderson we see that the vast majority of the $545,000 was given to cops under investigation.
Former police chief who left earlier this year, Thedrick Andres, got $320,000 in severance plus $32,000 in paid administrative leave in Jan and Feb. His base pay was $210,000 but he got twice that last year when he left.
Henderson police officers John Bellow, Marissa Myers and Katherine Cochran were allegedly involved in covering up Cochran’s alleged DUI, they were on administrative leave for about a year and a half for an internal investigation, and cost taxpayers about $385,000. 
There were several Henderson cops who went out on leave for an internal investigation after shooting someone while on duty.
Then there were other cases we don’t have details but we know 10 cops out on leave taking each between $14,000 and $37,000.
Kevin Lapeer was paid $135,000 over 17 months while he was under investigation for hurling a racial slur and allegedly urging the killing of Mexicans and Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020, 2021
Henderson cop Gary Hargis charged with a hit-and-run that allegedly injured a motorcyclist in 2022. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count in of failing to remain at the scene of a crash.
Got $89,000 while on administrative leave, then retired in early 2024, making almost $120,000 last year.
Henderson Corrections officer Ronald Peeler got $60,000 in 2022 and 2023, it’s unclear why he was on leave. In 2017, he was put on leave after being arrested for domestic battery. He was paid $55,000 in 2017 and 2018 while on leave for an internal investigation.
So you have all these people being charged with crimes, being kept on payroll and getting paid with taxpayer dollars while internal investigations go on and in some cases, they plead guilty to crimes, while still getting paid.
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