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Investigations reporter Briana Erickson’s top stories of 2023

Updated December 21, 2023 - 2:47 pm

Stories about mistakes made at the Henderson jail, the Henderson police chief clearing discipline against an accused racist officer, a sex offender’s unusual plea deal, concerns about anti-police harassment at a government office and a state senator’s questionable actions to apparently help a friend were some of the top investigative stories of 2023.

Roommate of then-city attorney got unusual plea deal

Keith Weller, the longtime roommate of former City of Las Vegas Attorney Brad Jerbic, pleaded guilty in 2019 to the attempted sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.

The deal — reached while Jerbic was still city attorney — meant he could later plead guilty to coercion, a charge that does not require him to register as a sex offender.

Senator steered federal grant to friend

State Sen. Dina Neal, D-North Las Vegas, was under investigation following claims she pressured a college professor to direct federal funds for local businesses into the pockets of unqualified companies, including one owned by her friend, records and emails show.

After the story ran, North Las Vegas city officials met with law enforcement to discuss concerns that Neal may have used campaign funds to pay off a $20,000 lien on her home.

Millions in overtime, critical mistakes

The Review-Journal found that Henderson residents paid nearly $5 million in overtime to run the city’s understaffed jail during the past three years. Officers have eschewed mandatory rest periods and worked two weeks or longer without a day off on dozens of occasions, the newspaper learned.

Surveillance footage and internal reports also showed that officers have sometimes failed to heed department policies while guarding inmates.

County office had anti-police culture

The daughter of former Gov. Steve Sisolak and some of her colleagues were accused of creating an anti-police environment in a county office that represents indigent criminal defendants.

Among the allegations: Ashley Sisolak had a “F—k The P lice” sign in her office and another attorney, Melissa Oliver, wore a “Blue Lives Murder” shirt.

Henderson’s police chief clears officer accused of racism

New Henderson Police Chief Hollie Chadwick cleared the disciplinary record of a police detective accused of hurling a racial slur and urging the killing of Mexicans and Black Lives Matter protesters.

She ran from a reporter during a public event where the Review-Journal tried to get answers to why the detective was cleared.

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on X. Erickson is a member of the Review-Journal’s investigative team, focusing on reporting that holds leaders and agencies accountable and exposes wrongdoing.

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