Washoe DA Dirty Dick Gammick and his replacement Chris Hicks.
Washoe County’s incoming District Attorney announced his new leadership team Wednesday.
Chris Hicks, who ran unopposed for district attorney this election, announced longtime prosecutor Bruce Hahn as his choice for assistant district attorney, replacing John Helzer.
Helzer served as assistant DA to Washoe County District Attorney Dick Gammick since 1995, when Gammick first took office.
“I worked alongside Bruce for years and I know his professionalism, his commitment to criminal justice and his experience in the trenches,” Hicks said.
Hahn and Hicks will be sworn in on Jan. 5.
Hahn said Gammick was more than proficient in his role as district attorney, but he did say the county could notice a difference in one way.
“I anticipate the county seeing a new level of energy and zeal,” said Hahn, who started as a prosecutor in Washoe County in 1994. “When I think of Chris, he’s a young man, a lot of energy and a lot of ideas. I’m happy to help him implement that in any way I can.”
Paul Lipparelli will be retained as assistant district attorney of the civil division, a position he’s held for six years.
“Dick Gammick put together a great team of professionals and staff,” Hicks said in an emailed statement Wednesday. “I am fortunate to inherit such a great office and I look forward to building on that foundation.”
The DA’s office has 167 employees and 60 attorneys.
“The present circumstances make it impossible for the board and Mr. Martinez to move forward in the spirit of mutual cooperation.”
— District Judge David Hardy
The Washoe County School District needs to wipe the slate clean. It needs a new start free of the rancor and dysfunction that have marked the past four months since the Board of Trustees tried to fire Superintendent Pedro Martinez in a hastily arranged, illegal meeting.
Hardy’s words after a failed effort to mediate the dispute between Martinez and the board sealed the superintendent’s fate. He will be out of office after six weeks, his contract bought out at a cost estimated at more than a half a million dollars to the taxpayers.
Six of the seven trustees have been fined a total of $1,500 each for violations of the Nevada Open Meeting Law. (Trustee Estela Gutierrez was not at the illegal meeting.) And they have been excoriated by a long line of civic leaders, including Gov. Brian Sandoval’s wife, Kathleen.
It’s time now for the remaining five trustees (Gutierrez is not running for re-election; Dave Aiazzi has said he will resign for health reasons) to admit that they no longer have the moral authority nor the confidence of the community that is essential to their acting in the best interests of the students, staff and taxpayers of Washoe County.
They should resign their offices and allow the district to wipe the slate clean for a fresh start, not because they fired a superintendent — popular or not, superintendents often are fired; that’s the nature of the job — but because they no longer can do the job they were elected to do. Those who broke the system can’t be relied on to put it back together.
NO ROAD MAP
Such a move would be unprecedented in Nevada, and the law doesn’t offer a clear road map for moving forward.
Yes, there are provisions for removing public officials for malfeasance or misfeasance. A judge could be asked to remove the entire board, or the voters could get together and recall the trustees. Both could be long, drawn-out efforts that would drain the community of much of the energy that is needed to continue with the impressive gains in student achievement and graduation rates that we have seen in the past few years. (To recall the remaining five members of the board — President Barbara Clark, who’s running for re-election this year; John Mayer, unopposed for re-election; and Howard Rosenberg, Lisa Ruggerio and Barbara McLaury, serving terms that end in 2016 — would require five separate recall petitions, at considerable expense.)
The law does, however, provide for vacancies on the Board of Trustees to be filled by … the Board of Trustees, a procedure that is, under the circumstances, untenable today.
The only path available to the citizens of Washoe County appears to be a request to Gov. Sandoval to use his power to act in an emergency and take charge. Sandoval, working through the State Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga, should be asked to appoint an interim superintendent to see the district through at least the 2015 session of the Nevada Legislature. He then could appoint acting trustees, through whatever process is deemed necessary, to serve until the next election.
It’s imperative that these changes be made quickly. The improvements that have been made in recent years, including the development of new curriculums to meet higher standards that have won the district national accolades, are fragile. Teachers and students are under a lot of pressure to meet new standards, and they need the support of a dedicated superintendent and topnotch board of trustees.
Legislators will be watching, too. When education issues face them in 2015, they’ll want reassurances that the district is prepared to move forward and will be a good steward of the money that the taxpayers will be spending.
There’s no time to waste. Trustees must admit that they no longer can function successfully and give the district a chance to start fresh by resigning.
Former Councilwoman Jessica Sferrazza, who is running mayoral candidate Hillary Schieve’s campaign, took to social media today to call Mayor Bob Cashell a bully– just 24 hours after Cashell endorsed one of Schieve’s opponents in the race.
On her Facebook and Twitter page, Sferrazza linked to a website describing Nevada’s anti-bullying laws.
“I wonder if this law applies to the Mayor?” Sferrazza wrote, adding the hashtag #BullyBob.
Earlier this year, Sferrazza, who served 12 years on the Council with Cashell, had her own mayoral campaign thwarted by a Nevada Supreme Court opinion barring term-limited council members from running. She has since become the campaign manager for her close friend, Councilwoman Schieve.
On Wednesday, Cashell endorsed Reno civil engineer Ray Pezonella, one of Schieve’s 17 opponents in the primary election.
Sferrazza said her decision to criticize Cashell’s behavior is unrelated to Schieve’s campaign. She said she was prompted to criticize him after a news article describing the heated conversation he had with Schieve during a council meeting last week over whether the baseball park developers have paid their property taxes.
“Anyone who watches a council meeting can see his behavior when challenged,” Sferrazza said. “He is the same behind closed doors.”
“Your story reminded me of my tenure with him,” she added.
Sferrazza said her post reflected her personal opinion of Cashell.
“He’s got in my face when I’ve disagreed with him on issues,” she said. “You can see him get testy and cut people off when he doesn’t get his way.
“If you disagree with Bob Cashell, watch out,” she said.
Neither Cashell nor Schieve were immediately available for comment.
UPDATE: Reached by phone, Schieve declined to comment on Sferrazza’s statement.
“I just want everyone to get along,” Schieve said. “No comment.”
Dick Gammick agrees with Mike Weston, the NHP edited dash cam video and Mr. Weston’s case/conviction should be vacated and expunged as stipulated by Washoe DA Dick Gammick.
JP Scott Pearson “Obstruction of Justice”Is Judge Scott Pearson obstructing justice by being the judge, jury and prosecutor to abuse his desecration in denying Mr. Weston justice after 8 years of fighting this corruption.
RICO Lawsuit against NHP about drug-sniffing dog program
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) – Attorney Kenneth McKenna has filed a Federal Lawsuit on behalf of Nevada Highway Patrol Troopers and a retired Sergeant of Police who in part created and established the K-9 Drug Interdiction Unit for the Nevada Highway Patrol.
They are suing the Department of Public Safety, Nevada Highway Patrol, the City of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and individual members of the Highway Patrol Command Staff and Officers of the Las Vegas Police Department in a 103-page complaint filed in the United States District Court of Nevada.
The Plaintiffs are alleging that the Command Staff of the Nevada Highway Patrol intentionally destroyed the K-9 program. They claim the program had been instrumental in “getting drugs off Nevada Highways and achieving seizures in the multi-millions of dollars to the benefit of the State of Nevada’s revenues”. Continue reading →
April 16, 2013 Update – The court date has been continued to July 17th in Reno Justice Court at 9am. The State has not provided Discovery and the DA will not cooperate in allowing Dude to be evaluated.
A motion is being filed to request the judge to order Dude’s release for behavior assessment.
Click to play video
We are helping these people save their dog named “Dude” with protests against Reno Animal Control and the DA Gammick. The Dog could be put down, owner says there is no proof of danger.
RENO, Nev. (Mynews4.com & KRNV)- A local pit-bull deemed “dangerous” by a Reno Justice Court Judge in 2011, is heading to trial on April 22, 2013. The judge could decide the dog should be euthanized based on recent allegations. However, some question whether or not the dog has ever bitten anyone. Now the case is drawing a lot of attention. Continue reading →