Tuesday, March 2 2010 2:28 AM EST2010-03-02 07:28:37 GMT
The Nevada Taxicab Authority is facing criticism for written policies about homosexuals. Policy manuals handed out to taxi officers categorize homosexuals alongside criminal groups and say they carry a risk of communicable disease.More>>
Investigative Reporter George Knapp & Photojournalist Matt Adams
Tuesday, February 16 2010 10:27 AM EST2010-02-16 15:27:03 GMT
Las Vegas visitors and locals alike are being long hauled -- taken the long way by cab drivers. The practice is illegal, but happens every hour of every day, right under the noses of the state officers who are supposed to protect the public.More>>
Chief Investigative Reporter George Knapp and Photojournalist Matt Adams
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:00 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:00:18 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County students experience some the largest classes in the country. And while that overcrowding is expected to decrease by one or two students, the vast majority of kids won't see anyMore>>
Clark County students experience some the largest classes in the country. Although the overcrowding is expected to decrease by one or two students next year, the vast majority of kids won't see any significant change.More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:56 AM EDT2013-05-22 10:56:40 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are on scene of a shooting on the 1700 block of Karen Avenue at the Sonoma Shadows Apartments with an FBI agent being shot. This started off as an FBI Task Force InvestigationMore>>
The search for a homicide suspect turned into a shooting Tuesday night. More>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:47 AM EDT2013-05-22 10:47:05 GMT
LAS VEGAS - The Clark County School Board appoints Pat Skorkowsky as the next superintendent of the school district. The board is in contract negotiations with Skorkowsky, but the details of the contractMore>>
The Clark County Board of School Trustees appointed Pat Skorkowsky as the next superintendent of the school district Tuesday night. More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:05 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:05:29 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating a crash involving a teenager who was hit by a vehicle. According to police, the victim was walking on a sidewalk at about 2:50 p.m. Tuesday near Tropicana AvenueMore>>
Metro Police are investigating an incident where a teenager was clipped by a truck's side mirror.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:04 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:04:36 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating the discovery of a deceased person in a home in northwest Las Vegas. According to Metro, a person arrived at the home in the 8000 block of Green Pasture AvenueMore>>
Metro Police are investigating the discovery of a deceased person in a home in northwest Las Vegas.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:55 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:55:25 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The ratio of students to teachers in the Clark County School District from first through fifth grade and the ratio of students to classes in kindergarten gradually improved toward the endMore>>
The ratio of students to teachers in the Clark County School District from first through fifth grade and the ratio of students to classes in kindergarten gradually improved toward the end of the last decade but worsened after the 2009-2010 school year.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:45 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:45:27 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The deadly tornado in Oklahoma is bringing back some bad memories for one woman who now calls Las Vegas her home. Stephanie McGregor is originally from Moore, Oklahoma and lived there whenMore>>
The deadly tornado in Oklahoma is bringing back some bad memories for one woman now living in Las Vegas.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:04 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:04:40 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas Urology agreed to pay the Justice Department $1 million to resolve civil allegations that it improperly billed Medicare, TRICARE, and other federal health care insurance programs,More>>
Las Vegas Urology agreed to pay the Justice Department $1 million to resolve civil allegations that it improperly billed Medicare, TRICARE, and other federal health care insurance programs, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said Tuesday.More>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:30 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:30:00 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- After his 15-year-old son was killed during a robbery last week, Ivan Arenas said he is trying to live the life his son would have wanted. According to police, Marcos Arenas, 15, was killedMore>>
After his 15-year-old son was killed during a robbery last week, Ivan Arenas said he is trying to live the life his son would have wanted.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- In an otherwise quiet neighborhood in the southwest part of the valley, cars cruise down a dark street as if by clockwork. The procession begins just after sunset and continues through the night, often every hour, on the hour. The vehicles belong to the Nevada Taxicab Authority. The drivers are all state taxi officers, though there isn't a taxi in sight.
Purple Shadow Lane is where Taxicab Authority administrator Gordon Walker lives. The officers are making their nightly, sometimes hourly, rounds, because Walker told them to do it. Mr. Walker's state-sponsored security patrol started at the beginning of April.
Scott Lewis is a former Taxicab Authority officer who's been fighting for two years to get his job back. He says he learned about the Walker patrol from current Authority employees who resent the assignment. "We have teachers and firefighters and everybody else being laid off for budget cuts, while the T.A. is utilizing its budget for obviously personal reasons. There are no cabs around," Lewis said. "Gordon Walker is using the T.A. as his private police agency, from what we can tell, and if that is not a case of wanton waste and purposeful destroying of police property, then I don't know what is."
The I-Team asked the T.A. for a copy of the memo which ordered the nightly patrols. The agency said it had no such order or memo. Gordon Walker declined to appear on camera. But, he told the I-Team he "verbally" authorized the patrols past his house only when T.A. officers are in the neighborhood for other official business. His neighborhood near Russell and Rainbow is many miles from the Strip or the airport, which are the hubs of the taxi business.
The I-Team obtained dispatch logs for a three-day period in mid-April that shows the drive-bys are regularly scheduled events. They start just after sundown and continue into the night.
On April 15th, the first run came 46 minutes after midnight. A second run occurred an hour later followed by a third 45 minutes after that. The type of call was listed as "administrative". The patrols resumed that night just before 8 p.m. This time, it was listed as a "special assignment". More runs occurred at 9 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 11:15 p.m.
The patrols continued on the morning of April 16th at 1:16 a.m. and 2:45 a.m. Just after 8 p.m. on the night of the 16th, they started up again. The I-Team watched and recorded as they rolled past. The I-Team tallied 15 patrols in a 72-hour period.
During a recent ride-along with the Taxicab Authority, investigator Rico Constanino said the agency is stretched very thin and can barely handle its primary function. "We have only four investigators and a supervisor for each shift to cover 8,000 square miles," he said.
"If you want to quantify this occurring for the last three to four weeks and occurring on the hour after sundown, that takes about one and a half officers off the street every night," Lewis said.
So what taxi-related business do the T.A. officers have in Gordon Walker's neighborhood? According to a court document filed by Walker, they are there to protect his state-owned vehicle, which had its tires vandalized eight months ago. The patrols didn't actually start back then, though. They began April 1st, one day after Walker's wife received a letter allegedly from Mr. Walker's mistress. The woman whose phone number was listed on the confessional letter flatly denies having written it, and Walker says he doesn't fool around on his wife. He thinks someone was messing with him by writing it. He ordered the patrols so he and his wife would have some peace of mind.
But, are patrolling Walker's neighborhood and keeping his family safe in the job description of T.A. investigators? "No, not at all," Lewis said. "That would be Metro, Las Vegas Metro."
T.A. officers are peace officers who carry badges and guns, but they aren't cops. Their job is to regulate taxis. They can exercise police powers when lives are at risk, but patrolling neighborhoods isn't something they do. At a legislative hearing last year, Gordon Walker testified that his officers need to be "solely focused on the taxi side of the equation."
Gordon Walker would not allow the I-Team to interview him on camera, because of concern for his personal safety. He agreed to answer questions submitted in writing but has yet to respond. He believes Scott Lewis, who was fired by the T.A. two years ago, is responsible for vandalizing Walker's car and for writing the letter to Walker's wife.
Once Walker found out Lewis had also been in Walker's neighborhood documenting the nightly patrols, Walker got a warrant and had Lewis arrested.