Last week, I started relaying the story of a Metro officer forced to retire after attending a police picnic and having a couple of things go the wrong way. He IS responsible for his conduct — of course! But the conduct does not come anywhere near to meriting a termination after a Kangaroo Court (pre-termination hearing). The first charge against ‘Joe-Lo’ was noted last week. It is a fictitious charge now known as “administrative” DUI that the police unions are apparently tolerating. Drunk driving cops is a very serious matter, but even those ARRESTED for drunk driving (multiple times) rarely get fired. They get ‘alcohol treatment/rehab’ which is exactly what Officer ‘Joe-Lo’ did for himself during his 7-month paid leave.
The second ‘fictitious’ charge was ‘administrative’ Open & Gross Lewdness. This charge is totally fictitious because the elements of the crime do not exist — thankfully the District Attorney realized this way back in November when they denied charges against ‘Joe-Lo’ and at the same time that his union attorney was doing a friendly ‘referral’ to another attorney who wanted a $10,000 retainer to deal with the ‘sex crime’ and keep him off the sex offender registry. Astounding — but it gets even crazier!
The rest of the story for ‘Joe-Lo’ (again, I wish it was actually SHERIFF Joe Lombardo) occurred upon arrival at the residence of ‘G’ (the older cop). ‘G’ went to bed with a girl less than half his age. A girl who had been a ‘minor’ drinking at a police picnic, which was either ignored or not investigated because ‘Joe-Lo’ was targeted. ‘Joe-Lo’ ended up passed out in the same bedroom as the 16-year-old daughter of ‘G.’
Listed in italics are a few paragraphs directly from the officer’s report that was completed by LVMPD personnel who had first tried to create a criminal case against ‘Joe-Lo’ but failed. I substituted the name ‘Sheila’ for the teenager — who, at age 16, was actually old enough to have consensual intercourse under Nevada law:
…Sheila describes ‘Joe-Lo” as walking down the hallway, turning on all of the house lights and mumbling to himself. Sheila watched ‘Joe-Lo’ enter her room and suddenly lay down on her bed. Sheila stated she was not scared at this time. Sheila explained thinking it was funny to her. Sheila described ‘Joe-Lo’ as lying on top of the covers while she was under the covers. Sheila described ‘Joe-Lo’ getting out of bed and walking across the hall to the bathroom. ‘Joe-Lo’ returned to Sheila’s bed lying down on the left side of the bed next to her. ‘Joe-Lo’ pushed Sheila over to the opposite side of the bed and got under the covers. Sheila describes ‘Joe-lo’ lying still in bed for approximately 10 minutes before eventually starting to grab the cheek of her buttocks “Hard.” Sheila described saying “stop” approximately three times. More intent, Sheila explains “shoving” and “kicking.” ‘Joe-Lo’ is described by Sheila as giving her a “peck” style kiss a single time on the back of her neck. Sheila could not tell if ‘Joe-Lo’ was awake or not during this time.
Remaining in bed, Sheila describes lying on her back when ‘Joe-Lo’ draped his left leg across hers. Sheila described feeling ‘Joe-Lo’ being erect and moving closer to her. Sheila describes going to sleep during this time and not knowing how long ‘Joe-Lo’ was in the room or how long he was touching her. “I woke up every hour and he was still touching me,” Sheila said. Sheila described ‘Joe-Lo’s’ touches as “clumsy”. As “Joe-Lo’ moved closer, Sheila described nearly falling out of the bed. Sheila states when she successfully removed ‘Jo-Lo’s’ leg, he never attempted to re-engage. Sheila recalled ‘Joe-Lo’ snoring like her dad. At some point in the night, “Sheila explains ‘Joe-Lo’ talking to her saying, “Wake up. Wake up”. When she finally responded, “Joe-Lo’ said, “Sheila?” Sheila confirmed it was her. ‘Joe-Lo’ replied, “On, No. No. No. NO. No.” before leaving the room.
When asked by Sexual Assault detectives if she believed ‘Joe-Lo’ knew what he was doing, Sheila replied, “Yeah. Probably, Yeah.”
‘Joe-Lo’ was intoxicated enough (administratively) to be charged with DUI but an examination of the facts (from the ‘victim”) are perplexing. There is no sex crime from those facts. There is no Open & Gross Lewdness from those facts. There is a drunken, clumsy, mumbling, disoriented, and ‘snoring’ police officer crashed in her room that she found ‘funny’ in her description. Nothing more — nothing less. There is no sexual arousal or evidence that there was an attempt to seek sexual gratification. There is no touching of the breasts or genital area. ‘Joe-Lo’ actually pushed ‘Sheila’ away and nearly off the bed. How do you engage in a sex crime by pushing someone away in a drunken stupor? There is no intent. There is no force or coercion. There is no fear. There is no crime, but Metro couldn’t leave it at that!
For starters, any defense attorney (including the laydowns at the PPA) could have noted that ‘Sheila’ could have (at any time) walked out of the room and slept elsewhere or tried to wake up her dad and explain the drunken state of his buddy. She didn’t ever exit her room, nor wake up ‘dad’ in another bedroom with the girl four years older than her! Read the report and it is evident that hours and hours went by and ‘Joe-Lo’ even got up and went to the bathroom (to take care of the NPT) after drinking all day! Sheila reported having her butt squeezed “hard’ and getting a “peck” on the back of her neck, and amazingly, went on to say she, “could not tell if he was awake or not during this time.” This took place in a private home — not in the ‘open’; there was nothing gross or lewd… just a drunk passed out on the wrong bed who didn’t discover it until the morning when he was obviously shocked to learn that he was in bed with ‘Sheila’!
Now, did Captain McDaris and Kelly Sweeney (and any other females) also ‘freak out” and use a ‘Gender Jack-Hammer’ on ‘Joe-Lo’? There were probably plenty of females very upset (maybe even some that investigated this matter). Most cops that I know would not approve of a co-worker sleeping in the same bed as their 16-year-old. I wouldn’t! But where is the evidence that there was anything going on but drunken, thrashing, confused, SLEEP (with snoring and using the bathroom)?
Sweeney is the Director of Labor Relations for the Police Protective Association. Her ‘bio’ on their website reports that she came to the LVPPA in October 2015, fresh out of retirement. Sweeney’s ‘bio’ also said she worked for Metro for over 14 years and is ‘intricately’ familiar with the disciplinary process. I think they mean ‘intimately’ (but there is no evidence of any ‘intimacy’ with ‘Sheila’ that cost ‘Joe-Lo’ his job. Sweeney has a daughter. Ironically, Sweeney was involved in my termination while working in Labor Relations (not for a union) but she asked ‘Joe-Lo,’ “Who is Norm Jahn?” when he was inquiring about his rights and defense preparation.
David Roger (former District Attorney who abruptly left his elective office several years early) is the attorney that is supposed to defend members — not direct ‘business’ to friends! As far as I know, he is now the only attorney working for the PPA so he may be overloaded. In the past they have had John Harper, Kathy Collins, and David Roger.
Was it that ‘erection’ that was ‘gross’ or ‘lewd’ or was it nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT)? A little ‘scientific’ background from medical sources is in order here. An erection prevents you from wetting the bed. There are two types of erections – psychogenic and reflex. Psychogenic are caused by thoughts or images. Reflex is an involuntary process and some believe that a full bladder can trigger it. All men without physiological erectile dysfunction experience nocturnal penile tumescence, usually three to five times during the night, typically during REM sleep.
NEXT WEEK: More on the egregious failures by ‘Joe-Lo’s’ (criminal and internal) investigators and his police ‘non-protective’ association next week. More also on Metro administrators who issue arbitrary and inconsistent discipline and could care less about ending a 10-year career and all of the money spent on training as well as past and future potential service to Las Vegas citizens. A squeeze, a peck, a shove, and an erection (mostly while NOT under the covers) and this poor officer is being accused of (and investigated for) sex crimes. They even tried to ‘sting’ him by having Sheila make a phone call and possibly recording it in violation of the law. Again, even if they had evidence against ‘Joe Lo’ for consensual intercourse (which did not even come close to happening) this would have been totally legal!
Norm Jahn served with the LVMPD for over 21 years and achieved the rank of lieutenant. He also served as a police chief in Wisconsin for over three years. Jahn has been a university professor and also taught in the criminal justice program at the College of Southern Nevada for over a decade.