The city of Reno has been without a permanent police chief since April, despite hiring a national search firm to launch a $22,000 search for candidates to fill the job.

The city of Reno has been without a permanent police chief since April, despite hiring a national search firm to launch a $22,000 search for candidates to fill the job.

Colorado Springs-based KRW Associates, which has been paid about $7,400 so far, is still gathering community input on the desired characteristics for the city’s next police chief. It hasn’t begun recruiting actual candidates yet.

Meanwhile, Reno’s interim Chief Jason Soto is winning high praise from council members and community groups alike. And although Soto said in May that he wouldn’t seek the permanent job, he has changed his mind.

“I’m in a position now where I know I’ve had a positive effect for the police department and the community,” Soto said. “I do have a lot of support from council, incredible support from my staff, both civilian and sworn, and more support from the community than I knew existed prior to taking this position.”

Council members and City Manager Andrew Clinger speak highly of Soto’s performance, saying he’s accessible and has worked in partnership with the community.

The problem? Soto doesn’t meet any of the minimum qualifications required by Reno Municipal Code.

Soto, who was a detective and president of the Reno Police Protective Association when he was tapped to be interim chief, doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree, five years of management experience or a management certificate from the Peace Officers Standards and Training commission.

The council could still hire him as chief, but it likely would have to take the politically unpalatable step of changing city ordinance to lower the minimum qualifications. At this point, despite Soto’s stellar performance, there doesn’t appear to be enough of an appetite to do that.

“Chief Soto is doing a great job,” Councilman Oscar Delgado said. “He’s accessible. He’s proactive. He’s a progressive thinker. And knowing that we don’t have everything perfect in Reno, he’s always looking for dynamic new ways to approach things.

“But, no, I’m not willing to lower the MQ’s.”

Councilwoman Neoma Jardon echoed Delgado’s sentiments on Soto’s performance.

“He has done a tremendous job when it comes to engaging with the community, and really breaking down some of the perceived barriers out there between community members and police in general,” she said. “I think he has done an incredible job.”

But Jardon also wouldn’t support lowering the city’s minimum qualifications.

“I do think a national search benefits the entire community ensuring we get the most qualified best person in that critically important position,” Jardon said.

Councilman Paul McKenzie, however, doesn’t believe the council would have to tinker with the minimum qualifications to hire Soto on permanently. He draws attention to the ordinance’s language, which allows for an “an equivalent combination of training, education and law enforcement experience” instead of a bachelor’s degree and five years in management.

Soto said he respects and understands the position taken by Delgado and Jardon.

“If they decide to go through a search then I will support them throughout that decision making process and make it as smooth a transition as I can,” he said.

But he’s not quite willing to give up, yet.

“If they would allow me to put my hat in the ring, then I would certainly do that,” he said. “I feel like it would have a positive effect for the community and the department and for the city.”

Reno may pay $330,000 to Deputy Police Chief Dave Evans who has been on paid leave since Aug. 2012

Reno deputy police chief Dave Evans

Reno deputy police chief Dave Evans

The Reno City Council will consider Wednesday a possible $330,200 settlement with Deputy Police Chief Dave Evans who went on paid administrative leave in August 2012.

Evans’s yearly salary, including benefits, is more than $170,000 per year, according to the city of Reno’s payroll database. reno 911

Evans was put on paid leave after a surreptitiously recorded conversation surfaced that featured the deputy police chief giving advice to Reno Sgt. James Stegmaier on how to maneuver an internal affairs investigation against him.

Stegmaier secretly recorded his conversation with Evans in April 2012 and released it to the media after Stegmaier was forced to retire from the force.

At the time, Stegmaier was under investigation for allegedly pointing his gun at officers at police headquarters. During the conversation, Evans advised Stegmaier to tell investigators about other allegations against his supervising lieutenant.

“She needs to go down,” Evans said in the recorded conversation. “… Keep that in the bag; it’s going to get really ugly.”

A police tribunal recommended Evans be fired based on the recorded conversation. Police Chief Steve Pitts said he was ready to accept that recommendation, but Evans sued to stop his termination.

In March, Washoe County Court Judge Brent Adams threw out the recorded conversation because it violated a city policy that forbids police from surreptitiously recording their peers. The city then appealed the case to the Nevada Supreme Court.

neil rombardo scandal“What Stegmaier was trying to do was extort the department into giving him his job back, he was threatening them by revealing certain things,” Evans’ attorney David Houston said in March. “What Deputy Chief Evans is trying to do is talk him out of doing that because it’s a crime and telling him, ‘If you do this, I have to report this.’”

Houston declined comment Thursday and city of Reno attorney Jack Campbell did not return a phone call.

Stegmaier left the force on July 20, 2012. He filed a federal lawsuit last month against the city saying he experienced sexual harassment in a hostile, offensive work environment and was forced to retire.

Protesters gather in front of Reno Nevada home of Federal Prosecutor Ron Rachow

On November 23, 2012 Protesters gather in front of Reno Nevada home of Federal Prosecutor Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Rachow

Reno police (“RPD”) were apparently called by Mr. Rachow and RPD let the protesters continue their free speech and exercise their 1st amendment rights in front of Mr. Rachow’s Reno home. Thank you RPD, Guy Felton also thanks  Steven Pitts and salutes the RPD,  and we appreciate the professionalism of the RPD.

There is the Nolan Klein case where the prosecuting attorneyRon Rachow, intentionally withheld all of the exculpatory evidence that showed that someone else was responsible for the May 9, 1988 Payless Shoe Store crime. This was discovered in 2009 when Judge Adams ordered DA Richard Gammick to turn over the entire file in the Nolan Klein case. In the file were the handwritten notes that he was not going to turn over any of the exculpatory evidence that some else was responsible for that crime as well as the 3 other crimes, ALL HIDDEN FROM THE DEFENSE AND JURY.  Not only did Mr. Rachow withhold the evidence that would have cleared an innocent man, several employees within the Washoe District Attorney’s Office knew about this AND SAID NOTHING SINCE 1988. Mr. Rachow defied a 1988 Court Order by Judge Peter Breen to turn over all of the evidence.
Ron Rachow killed an innocent man

Ron Rachow killed an innocent man

In fact, in a September 22, 2008  interview given by Washoe County District Attorney, Dick Gammick regarding Mr. Klein being considered for a Pardon, Gammick publicly admitted that they opened up the DNA and tested it.  Shortly thereafter, ADA John Helzer appeared before the Nevada Pardons Board on October 29, 2008 stating prior to Mr. Klein ever  being considered for a Pardon he heard things so looked in Mr. Klein’s file. He looked, he saw and HE SAID NOTHING ABOUT THE OTHER SUSPECT.
     The Nevada Pardons Board denied Mr. Klein a Pardon, thereby, by their denying Mr. Klein a Pardon one can only conclude that they have to had to condone the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office of Brady Violations.
     After the Pardons Board Hearing, Mr. Klein’s attorney’s filed a Motion for Dick Gammick to turn over the DNA test results.  Washoe County District Court Judge Brent Adams issued and Order for Gammick to turn over the DNA test results and included the entire file in the Nolan Klein case.  On June 10, 2009 the file was turned over.  No tests results have ever been turned over.
     Just prior to Mr. Klein’s death in 2009 he learned the truth what the Washoe County District Attorney’s office did and how far several of members of the office went to coverup what Ron Rachow did.
     The Sparks Police Department’s theory was that Mr. Zarsky was responsible for this crime as well as other crimes in which those other victims cleared my innocent brother, Nolan Klein.
Sparks Tribune – Nevada in Brief In a 2010 video I  have Richard “Dick” Gammick on tape why he continued to employ Mr. Steven Barker who had been cited several times in several different cases for withholding evidence, even DNA that exonerated the person.
      In September the film crew will be coming to the Reno/Carson area to film the documentary movie “Lawless America”. Nolan Klein’s case will be featured as a part of the documentary movie on judicial corruption that will be presented to the United States Congress and the Sundance Film Festival.  Several requests thus far have been sent to Mr. Gammick and still no response.

Please See

Please See Nevada Prison Watch

Please See The Nolan Klein story on Lawless America

Ron Rachow must be charged with the murder of Nolan Klein. – Tonja Brown

Protesters gather in front of Reno, Nevada U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Rachow home 11/23/2012

Protesters gather in front of Reno, Nevada U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Rachow home 11/23/2012

Ron Rachow protest

Protesters gather in front of Reno, Nevada U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Rachow home 11/23/2012

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