Upheaval might open way for sheriff candidates

Timing isn’t everything in politics, but it can help.

In the wake of the abrupt resignations of six members of Metro’s Use of Force Board and the retirement of a senior officer, is the timing now right for someone to challenge Sheriff Doug Gillespie?

That’s what some current and former cops are wondering after also learning of last week’s retirement of Metro veteran Ted Moody, who sources say has considered running for the office. Moody was appointed by the sheriff to oversee the review board. His retirement is thought to be the result of Gillespie’s decision to overrule the panel after it recommended the termination of officer Jacquar Roston. In November, Roston shot an unarmed man in the leg and earlier this year was combative and unapologetic during his appearance before the review panel.

News of the board departures broke Wednesday when board member Robert Martinez circulated a bruising letter of resignation to the sheriff, which in part accused him of failing “to maintain the integrity and credibility of the Critical Incident Review Process. I can no longer support the department’s consistent effort to minimize openness and transparency.”

Moody’s chairmanship was filled by Assistant Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, whose name has also circulated as a possible sheriff’s candidate. When contacted Thursday, Moody declined to comment.

Martinez, meanwhile, sought to correct the misconception that Moody asked board members to resign. It was the sheriff’s decision to overrule them that forced their hands, Martinez said.

Gillespie has said he intends to seek re-election in 2014.

MOUNTAIN GRATITUDE: Residents and business owners at Mount Charleston continue to express their appreciation for the firefighters and other first responders who helped save their homes and contain the Carpenter 1 Fire.

Last week, the Mount Charleston Lodge opened its doors to residents for a welcome-back party that drew hundreds, including crews of wild-land firefighters straight from the field.

On Wednesday, it was the Resort at Mount Charleston’s turn, and owner the Siegel Group in cooperation with Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown (who represents the area) did it up right.

After thanking the first responders and volunteers for their efforts, company Executive Vice President Judi Perez offered, “We are excited to welcome visitors and neighbors back.”

The American Red Cross, for instance, made use of more than 300 volunteers, and CCFD Volunteer Station 81 logged more than 1,400 hours assisting other firefighters from the National Forest Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management, Clark County Fire Department, city of Henderson and contract crews from across the West.

The lodge and hotel lost all business for more than two weeks during the fire.

The big turnout sends “a strong signal that we are back,” Brown said, calling the effort at all levels “truly remarkable.”

BALLPARK SUCCESS: Selling tickets to minor league baseball games during the hot Las Vegas summer has rarely been easy, and the numbers ebb and flow with the weather and the nightly specials, but the 51s continue to draw lively crowds after more than 30 years at Cashman Field.

My recent night at the ballpark with daughter Amelia and her pal Hannah Rath resulted in a doubleheader sweep for the 51s. Superstitious guy that I am, I’m thinking the girls brought the team good luck.

ON THE BOULEVARD: Sources say some striking cabdrivers, who find themselves on the street and out of work, have quietly been offered their old jobs back — at reduced pay and as long as they renounce the union and sign a confidentiality agreement. … Strange days and nights inside the local adult industry with more rumors about the future of the Power Exchange club. Michael Powers’ company website quickly took down information about the Las Vegas club following a recent visit from law enforcement. … So why hasn’t the guest list for casino baron Sheldon Adelson’s 80th birthday party surfaced yet? The Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO was born Aug. 4, 1933. The list must be loaded with powerhouse names.

John L. Smith’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. E-mail him at jsmith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295.