LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A candidate for Clark County sheriff is facing questions about allegations from nearly three decades ago.
The 8 News Now I-Team tracked down the women who made the claims, as well as documents at the center of the case.
It’s been 27 years, but both women are sticking to their stories. They paint a different picture of Kevin McMahill, a candidate for sheriff.
McMahill insists it’s all made up.
We want to warn you, the allegations are of a sexual nature.
“The whole thing was just a terrible thing for me,” said Carrie Lance, who continues to make a claim against McMahill and Bill Stoops, both former police officers. “He’s not the type of person I would want to represent any part of the law.”
This video of Lance sharing her story was provided first to the 8 News Now I-Team.
The incident in question dates back to 1995.
“They made me come over by their car and lift my skirt and show ’em my privates,” Lance said. “And then they took me to the front of the car and they went through my purse and they found a small amount of cocaine, and they said if I wanted to go that I would have to eat that. And so I ate it … and it caused really bad sores in my mouth.”
Jennifer Clampit, a Metro officer at the time, was at the call.
“Kevin was laughing about the whole deal,” Clampit said. “Bill Stoops walks up to me, points his finger at me and says, ‘I gotcha now. You’re one of us. If we go down, you go down. It’s so good to have something over your head. We own you.’ “
Clampit, now retired, says she eventually reported this to supervisors.
The I-Team ‘s George Knapp reported on the internal investigation:
Knapp: The two were variously described as cowboys.
Greg McCurdy: The allegations here are alarming.
Knapp: McCurdy says the duo violated at least three of the department policies, enough to justify termination.
Clampit provided this document to the I-Team: Then-lieutenant Stavros Anthony recommending both officers be terminated. Stoops was fired. McMahill was not.
Vanessa Murphy: Did you ever ask a woman while you were working as an officer to see her genitals?
Murphy: Were you ever present when someone else did? Another officer?
Murphy: Why would two women who don’t know each other have the same story?
McMahill: That’s been the question along.
The memo from Anthony also says Clampit passed a polygraph test, while Stoops and McMahill failed.
“That’s true. I failed my polygraph, 100-percent,” McMahill said. “Because right before I went into my polygraph test, I was being interrogated by Sgt. Tavarez across the table and he was telling me that I was gonna lose my job, and by the time I walked out of there and walked into the polygraph test — I’m an Irish guy, I wear my emotion on my sleeve. I was huffing and puffing and I was very upset before I got hooked up to that box. No chance in hell, that I ever passed that test.
Murphy: She passed.
McMahill: I don’t know. I never got to see her polygraph results, nor did I ever get to see how it is that they pushed her into it.
The I-Team spoke with then-Sergeant Mark Tavarez on Friday. He said he had no reason to believe the event didn’t happen, but he now believes Stoops committed the acts and is to blame, not McMahill.
The department settled with Lance for $4,900.
“I was scared,” Clampit said. “Even when I came forward — and I have regrets, Carrie Lance, if you’re watching this, I apologize, ma’am. I’m sorry what happened to you. Please accept my apology. And Kevin McMahill, you should do the same. You should apologize to Carrie Lance.”
“Yeah, I don’t have anything to apologize for,” McMahill said.
McMahill said he knew the allegations would resurface during his run for sheriff.
“It harmed my career for a long time, but I was able to recover and promoted all the way to the top non-elected official by four sheriffs,” McMahill said.
Clampit said she resigned from the department, citing some health issues. But she felt like her career was tarnished for speaking up.
She also sued for sexual harassment in federal court. Jurors found she was subject to verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, but that it was not unwelcome. That was in 2002.
We tried to reach Bill Stoops, but we were unable to contact him.