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
Friday, May 17 2013 8:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:05:13 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself. But on Thursday morning, as he was assisting someone who had crashed their car, anotherMore>>
When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:02:54 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said. According to the Clark County Detention Center, the volunteer coach,More>>
A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:56:00 GMT
LAS VEGAS - Metro Police says a preteen who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted robbery has died. Investigators said the preteen was walking near Charleston Boulevard and Torrey Pines Drive withMore>>
Marcos Arenas, a Bonanza High School student who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted theft, has died, Metro Police said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:39:56 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating two people found dead in an apartment complex near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway. According to police, the bodies were found around 3 p.m. Friday atMore>>
Metro Police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman whose bodies were found in an apartment Friday afternoon near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:17 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:17:28 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County firefighters are responding to reports of an explosion and fire at a facility located at North Las Vegas Boulevard and Sloan Lane. This is a developing story. 8NewsNOW. com willMore>>
One person is reported dead following an explosion and fire at a facility located at North Las Vegas Boulevard and Sloan Lane.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:03 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:03:09 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The theft of iPads, iPhones and other Apple devices is becoming commonplace, earning it the nickname, "Apple-picking," the police said. Bonanza High School student Marcos Arenas died ThursdayMore>>
The theft of iPads, iPhones and other Apple devices is becoming commonplace, earning it the nickname, "Apple-picking," the police said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:42 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:42:38 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The Federal Election Commission had found that the parents of disgraced former Sen. John Ensign of Nevada made excessive in-kind contributions to a former political action committee staffMore>>
The Federal Election Commission had found that the parents of disgraced former Sen. John Ensign of Nevada made excessive in-kind contributions to a former political action committee staff member.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:21:11 GMT
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The lawyer who unsuccessfully defended O.J. Simpson against armed robbery charges in Las Vegas says his client knew two companions had guns in a 2007 confrontation with memorabilia dealers. MiamiMore>>
The lawyer who unsuccessfully defended O.J. Simpson against armed robbery charges in Las Vegas says his client knew two companions had guns in a 2007 confrontation with memorabilia dealers.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 2:08 PM EDT2013-05-17 18:08:48 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Eight hundred new teachers will head into Clark County classrooms, as the Clark County School board approved its $2.1 billion dollar budget for the 2013-2014 school year. For the first timeMore>>
Eight hundred new teachers will head into Clark County classrooms next year based on the $2.1 billion budget the Clark County school board approved Wednesday night.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.