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Friday, May 24 2013 7:40 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:40:18 GMT
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Friday, May 24 2013 5:05 PM EDT2013-05-24 21:05:30 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County Grand Jury has indicted Michael Smith on murder and assault charges in the shooting death of a man in January. Michael Smith is accused of killing Carlos Bell on Jan. 14,More>>
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It should be said upfront that the Clark County School District refused repeated requests for an interview. After weeks of back and forth, Eyewitness News is still waiting for public records and for written responses to many questions.
That said, if a picture is worth a thousand words, the district's own surveillance cameras have captured a novel.
Hours before any teacher cracks a lesson plan, the staff of the CCSD Security Systems Department is on the job.
At 6:04 a.m., surveillance images capture maintenance leader Jim Uhrich near a shelf stocked with surveillance cameras. Three minutes later, his boss Bill Wiseman enters the frame as Jim appears to pack the cameras into a box.
By 6:08, Wiseman remains, but Uhrich, the cameras and the boxes do not.
Less than a minute later, another eye in the sky spots Uhrich in the parking lot loading several boxes, presumably containing the cameras, into his personal vehicle.
"Something needs to be done. It's been going on too long."
At risk to his job, whistleblower "Jon" adds focus to several months of school district surveillance images obtained by the I-Team.
Jon is a district employee with knowledge of the security system's department, "It's showing cameras that have been taken out of schools. Those cameras have been boxed up, taken out to personal vehicles, never seen again."
At 7:38 a.m., Wiseman packs a box with what appear to be surveillance cameras as Uhrich looks on. Four minutes later, Uhrich leaves the frame but Wiseman continues to gather equipment.
At 9 a.m., Wiseman leaves the shop arms loaded to his personal truck. Outside Uhrich appears again and at 9:12 a.m., the men walk back inside empty-handed.
Shortly thereafter, Wiseman re-emerges and by 9:17 a.m. he and his truck have left the building.
"Where those cameras end up? I have no idea," said Jon.
"We've obtained some surveillance images that appear to show you putting school district property into your personal vehicle and we just wanted to ask you about it," said McCarty.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," said Wiseman.
Wiseman however does agree to review the images with the I-Team.
"That's me. That's the shop," he said. "But most of it is just parts and pieces that were going to be either thrown out. Every once and a while we bring them home to work on, see if we can make them work, see if we can get any smarter. The stuff that we're doing it with is just stuff we're throwing away."
But Wiseman has several cameras mounted on the outside of his house.
"Those are old cameras. You won't find those in the district anywhere. They're 20-years-old," he said.
"But those cameras came from work?" asked McCarty.
"Yeah," said Wiseman.
"Is that ok with the district?" asked McCarty.
"Yeah, you either throw it in the dumpster or you bring it home. It's no big deal," said Wiseman.
No big deal? Really? The district refused repeated requests for an on-camera interview. It did however explain in writing, "Items declared surplus, obsolete or no longer required are first offered to other schools, then to other Nevada districts, then finally for sale to the public."
"The cameras that are being boxed up, what value the school district puts on them, I don't know. But there has to be a camera to take its place, that I can tell you," said Jon.
Taxpayers spent nearly $1.5 million last year on equipment and supplies for the security system's department. It was an investment in the safety of the schools, and apparently, the homes of some of its employees.
Whistleblower Jon says the school police have many of the same surveillance images.
A police department spokesperson confirms it investigated the incidents in April and found they did not warrant criminal charges. Date stamps on the surveillance shots indicate Uhrich and Wiseman continued to remove equipment through the summer and into the fall.