WEEKLY EDITORIAL RECAP

Conspiracy to defraud taxpayers

Wednesday

In the run-up to the Memorial Day weekend, a conspiracy to defraud taxpayers was formulated in the Clark County Department of Parks and Recreation. …

Here’s what we know: A Thursday memo from Clark County Park Police chief Roy Michael informed his officers that he had “received direction to conduct intense, focused patrols” over the holiday at the county’s planned shooting range in the far northern valley and at Wetlands Park at the eastern edge of the metropolitan area. “You are not to accept calls for service,” Mr. Michael wrote. “All in-coming calls for service or requests for police assistance are to be forwarded to Las Vegas police.” …

We also know that only days before the memo was distributed, Parks and Recreation Director Leonard Cash told county commissioners that his officers were being stretched too thin. He then suggested during a budget hearing that Las Vegas police take responsibility for larger recreation areas, including the shooting park.

It doesn’t take a political scientist to recognize that what amounted to a planned “ditch day” for parks police was conceived to leverage additional resources — or a reduced jurisdiction — from the County Commission. The Review-Journal obtained the memo before the holiday weekend, halting the plot before it could hatch. …

It’s outrageous that any so-called public servant collecting a taxpayer-funded check would plan to deliberately deprive residents of services they’re paying for — last year, park police responded to 85 calls on Memorial Day weekend. …

County Manager Virginia Valentine needs to investigate the memo from Mr. Michael, find out who cooked up the plan — and fire them at once.

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