North Las Vegas is in the market for a new police chief, and it won’t come cheap for the city’s taxpayers.
Mayor Michael Montandon confirmed Tuesday that the city is coming up with a severance package for Mark Paresi, North Las Vegas’ top cop for more than five years. Until that’s finalized, Mr. Paresi will be on paid leave, collecting his weekly salary of more than $3,000. Assistant Chief Joseph Chronister runs the department.
Why the pressing need for a change? No one with the city is offering specifics.
“You can’t portray this as a firing, but he is leaving,” Mayor Montandon told the Review-Journal. It was a combination of “policy, human resources and personal issues,” and issues “we’ve been trying to work out, and we just can’t.” Added Councilwoman Stephanie Smith: “Unless they’ve done something that’s egregious or a violation of the public trust, you don’t need every piece of your dirty linen aired.”
OK. But when you’re preparing a golden parachute for someone you recruited from out of town only five years ago to take the Police Department in a new direction, you have to be a little more forthcoming with the people paying the bill. … What, exactly, couldn’t be “worked out”? … It isn’t about airing dirty laundry. City residents need to know whether their elected and appointed leaders are capable of hiring a competent, appropriate replacement for Mr. Paresi — one that won’t be out of the job with another severance package in a couple of years.
North Las Vegas officials should offer a better explanation for this situation than the non-answers they’ve given so far.