Henderson police leaders accused of trying to bust labor groups

Updated November 21, 2018 - 7:44 pm

Two Henderson police unions have accused department leaders of trying to bust the labor groups by threatening and discriminating against the organizations’ members.

The Henderson Police Officers Association and Henderson Police Supervisors Association filed the complaint with the state-run Local Government Employee-Management Relations Board on Nov. 16. Chief LaTesha Watson, Deputy Chief Thedrick Andres, the Henderson Police Department and the city of Henderson are named in the filing.

“What (Watson) is doing is trampling on these people’s rights and trying to break unions in the process,“ said Richard McCann, executive director of the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, who is representing both unions.

The detailed complaint maps out accusations of leadership intimidating and retaliating against officers for being involved in union activities.

Attempts to reach Watson and Andres were unsuccessful Wednesday. The city said many of the claims in the filing are in dispute, without specifying.

“The City of Henderson values its employees and is committed to ensuring a safe and fair work place for all. The City maintains a strong relationship with its labor groups and works proactively to find pragmatic solutions to any concerns and issues that may be identified,” City Manager Richard Derrick said in a statement.

“The City is aware of the concerns outlined in the (Employee Management-Relations Board) complaint and is taking appropriate action to address these issues, but we will also not hesitate to defend the City and its employees against the allegations that have been made, many of which are in dispute.”

According to the complaint, in a June meeting, Andres told Sgt. Kevin Abernathy, president of the Henderson Police Supervisors Association, to separate work from union matters. Watson reportedly told Abernathy that she has a “mole” in the union and was being leaked information.

The next month, Abernathy received a notice that his conduct as union president was “blatantly disrespectful and unprofessional.”

Watson told Abernathy that his union-related activity “diminishes the very nature of what a law enforcement organization should stand for and set the example for society to follow,” according to the document.

“We set the standard. I will not tolerate this type of behavior and it should not occur again,” Watson is accused of saying.

Abernathy filed a written response to the notice last month, claiming the conduct that prompted admonishment was related to his work with the union, not his job in the department. He claimed that part of the admonishment was a threat toward his position as sergeant due to his role with the union.

Andres also had numerous conversations with Lt. Hollie Chadwick, secretary of the supervisors union, alerting her that her friendship with Abernathy “could be seen as detrimental to her career track,” according to the complaint. In June and July, Chadwick was denied assignments that the complaint says were part of an effort to prevent her from climbing the ranks. She was passed up to serve as an acting captain despite her “advanced qualifications,” according to the document.

In a meeting on June 19, Watson allegedly told Abernathy and Chadwick that they could not trust anyone in the department and should speak only to loved ones at home.

In September, then-Acting Capt. Edward Tyndall told Chadwick she needed to “start handling Abernathy or he was going to ruin her career,” the document reads. About the time of this meeting, Tyndall was promoted to captain.

In another instance, an officer claims she was denied a job with an investigative unit because of her position with the police officers union. The complaint also alleges that decision was made, in part, because the officer is a transgender woman “representing distinctly contrary social values and a lifestyle that conflicts with the religious values being touted by WATSON throughout the DEPARTMENT.”

The complaint also alleges Watson is violating state law by changing disciplinary procedures without engaging in bargaining.

Watson joined the department last November as an outsider and reformer from Arlington, Texas, where she worked as a deputy chief. Her arrival came months after former Chief Patrick Moers left the department amid controversy.

She has shrugged off complaints about her as being the result of employees unhappy with her aggressive pursuit of change. But McCann said resistance by department employees is not what the complaint is about.

“Change is fine, but there’s rules,” he said.

Neither the city nor the Police Department had been served with the complaint this week.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
NFR- Kory Koontz
NFR Team Roper Kory Koontz talks about his years at the event since 1992, his dynamic with a 23 year old partner Dustin Egusquiza, and how he contines to perform with diabetes with Aaron Drawhorn outside of Thomas & Mack before round 5 of the National Rodeo Finals.
Meet the woman behind the Las Vegas Bowl
Melissa Meacham-Grossman is the associate executive director for the Las Vegas Bowl. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFR Highlights Day 4
NFR highlights day 4
NFR Introduces Golden Circle Of Champions
For the first time, the National Finals Rodeo has partnered with the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo to offer the Golden Circle of Champions. The event brings in 20 children and their families from around the country that have previously or are currently fighting life-threatening cancer.
NFR Time Lapse 2018
Watch Thomas & Mack Center transform from a basketball court to an arena fit for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Video courtesy of Las Vegas Events.
RJ's Mark Anderson on the UNLV loss
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's loss at Illinois. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Joel Ntambwe on performance against Illinois
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about the 18 points he scored against Illinois. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Amauri Hardy on loss at Illinois
UNLV guard Amauri Hardy talks about Saturday's loss at Illinois. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Marvin Menzies on loss at Illinois
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about Saturday's loss at Illinois. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Baby Roman's mother and his doctor talk about his medical condition
Baby Roman's mother and his doctor talk about his medical condition. Roman was born Dec. 13, 2017 and has been at Sunrise Children Hospital with a rare heart condition since. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
NFR 2018: Unique Gifts At Cowboy Christmas
Before you head over to the Thomas and Mack for NFR, be sure to check out some of the unique and one of a kind items at Cowboy Christmas!
NFR: Dale Brisby
Day two of the National Finals Rodeo has started and Premier Vegas Sports host Cassies Soto interviews social media influencer Super Puncher Dale Brisby.
103-year-old celebrates birthday at gym
Joe Rosa of Las Vegas celebrated his 103rd birthday celebration at 24 Hour Fitness in Summerlin Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. After being the victim of a hit-and-run crash, Rosa's medical team told him he would never walk again. Rosa credits physical therapy and a personal trainer at the club for his return to health. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson native Mason Clements finished second in NFR bareback go-round
Mason Clements discusses his second-place bareback ride on opening night of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec 6, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marvin Menzies on where UNLV stands at this point
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about where UNLV stands at this point in the season. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
The Mob Museum
Saddle bronc rider Joey Sonnier earns spot at NFR after overcoming years of drug addiction
Joey Sonnier started saddle bronc riding at 18, but at 20 he began using methamphetamine to cope with the work of the rodeos and became addicted. At 39, after years of addiction and a low point that pushed him to rehab, he's qualified for the National Finals Rodeo. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Core Arena opens at the Plaza downtown in time for NFR
Core Arena, downtown's first permanent outdoor equestrian center, opens to the public at the Plaza. The arena will be used for events throughout the year, including the 10-day 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas
MountainView Hospital celebrates the opening of the new Sunrise Health GME Simulation Center.
MountainView Hospital celebrates the opening of the new Sunrise Health GME Simulation Center. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
NFR Preps Livestock for the Limelight
NFR’s Jed Pugsley discusses the care that goes into preparing the rodeo’s livestock for Las Vegas’ big event.
Grand Menorah lighting begins Hanukkah
Rabbi Shea Harlig led the ceremonial lighting of the menorah to begin Hanukkah at the Fremont Street Experience. There were also performances by the Desert Torah Academy's choir and the Dancing Dreidels. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Perla Gumm has spent the past few years collecting toys for kids for the LV Rescue Mission
Perla Gumm has spent the past few years collecting toys for kids for the LV Rescue Mission. It's something she started even before the rescue mission was her beneficiary; she just felt a need to collect toys and teamed up with them later. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Marvin Menzies on Cincinnati
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about Cincinnati and his own program. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Joey Logano talks about Champions Week in Las Vegas
NASCAR champion Joey Logano talks about the future of Champion's Week in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 28, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rain hits Las Vegas Valley
Widespread rain hit the Las Vegas Valley on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Valley Hit with Rain, Clouds
Rain and clouds hit the Las Vegas Valley on Thursday afternoon.
Ducks have Lorenzi Park to themselves
Thursday’s rain kept people inside, leaving Lorenzi Park to the ducks.
Kyle Busch Reflects On Disappointing End To Nascar Season
Kyle Busch reflects on disappointing end to his 2018 season during NASCAR Champion's Week in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 28, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like