Yes, folks… here we go again! We, the Las Vegas Tribune staff, are once again reminded that there are two sets of rules for the community: One for those who have sworn to protect and serve us; and the other one for those whom they have sworn to “protect and serve” – that would be the rest of us.
The Henderson SWAT officer who recently trashed his police department vehicle and all the equipment inside sparked the Tribune staff to remember some of the other “special” officers in the police department who did the same thing – or even worse – and got away with it completely, or were just given a big sloppy wet kiss by the boss and told not to do it again.
As we travel back in time to the early ’90s, we recall former captain, Michael Zagorski, allegedly crashing his department-issued vehicle into a light pole at Rye and Industrial Road, allegedly after having too much to drink, and later without any punishment or consequences for his actions; his vehicle was totaled. Interestingly enough, he was the traffic section commander at the time.
And let us not forget former Sgt. Paul Pagano, who allegedly repeatedly drove a police department vehicle when he was not sober, and was so intoxicated on at least one occasion that he high centered the police department vehicle over a fire hydrant while in that state of affairs. Eventually, this kind of continued action led to his early retirement.
Even our former sheriff, Jerry Keller, was not immune to the attraction of driving drunk. He allegedly crashed his police department vehicle into a fixed object in front of a casino years back, without any repercussions to himself or reimbursement to the county for the damage.
Lately, we have the Las Vegas Constable, Joe Boneventura, succumbing to the allure of allegedly driving while intoxicated, and again without penalty or repercussion – except for a short stay at the Clark County (Hilton) jail, to be processed and booked and then later informed there would be no prosecution by our DA.
Is Henderson suffering from the allure of driving while intoxicated more than Las Vegas or North Las Vegas? The Tribune does not believe that to be true. What the Tribune does believe is that there are two sets of rules that are generally followed. One set of rules applies to the everyday citizen in the community straight across the board and shows no favorites, unless you are “connected” to the other – the “special” – group.
The other set of rules (the interesting set) applies differently for “special” groups and are considered “Discount Rules and Laws” for very special people. For them, the Law will bend; for them, the Law really does get bent; it favors those “special people,” no matter how egregious the crime. The only consideration is how far up the food chain that special person is positioned and how that person can later be manipulated by others also in the food chain to achieve a necessary goal.
A classic example of this, allegedly, is Deputy Chief O’Connor’s husband, former detective, Nick Nicolodes. Nicolodes got arrested for driving while intoxicated, crashing his vehicle into another vehicle and injuring its occupants. The only glitch in the scenario is that this all occurred in Montana and not in Las Vegas or in the surrounding areas of Clark County Nevada. The plea deal was struck and Nicolodes was allowed to honorably retire and receive his pension; he also received a medical retirement benefit, with honorable police retirement credentials from Metro. That sure sounds like a pretty sweet deal, if you can get it.
Maybe that’s the secret to the allure of driving while intoxicated: first, you must be in that “special” group, that of having a position of trust in the community, most notably by being in a law enforcement kind of job; and second, you must lack all Integrity, honor and sense of responsibility, adapting a devil-may-care-attitude, knowing you will be immune from prosecution, and will probably even benefit in the end.
We certainly have plenty of candidates who fit into that special group category. Our police sources tell the Tribune that there are currently police supervisors of all ranks who routinely and excessively drink and/or use drugs and still drive a police department vehicle, usually ending up crashing into something or negligently damaging the vehicle, which event is then covered up, not officially reported, and is given the big sweep under the rug.
However, getting back to our timeline of the past: The incident involving former CCSD Police Chief Arroyo and his staff, which contributed to the DUI death of a young female college student, cannot be forgotten. Metro Traffic Section again did their “investigation” and no charges were brought forward regarding CCSDPD’s complicity in that DUI death. It appears that Metro’s Traffic Section is a protector of the special group and is under orders from the current police administration and leadership to smooth out any bumps in the road for the “special” ones.
The Las Vegas Tribune has a very good memory when it comes to incidents of injustice and inequality, and will continue to publicize these incidents with regularity. As always, we’re committed to telling the truth and nothing but the truth.
Sooner or later the rest of the news media will get the message that “a half-truth is a whole lie,” and start publishing the all the facts and circumstances of the news and quit protecting the Special Groups and their inbred failings.