Tag Archives: ccsd

Update: Head of Las Vegas School Police Internal Affairs Keeps Job In Spite of Guilt Due to “Minor Notification Oversight”

Last June, I posted about the case in which the head of Internal Affairs for the Clark County School District Police Department was being investigated. In short, Detective Christopher Klemp, the guy in charge of investigating school cops in Las Vegas when they’ve been accused of misconduct, was himself being investigated for threatening other officers and suppressing evidence in order to influence investigations he had taken part in.

Part of that investigation included audio recordings of phone calls between Detective Klemp and one of the Lieutenants in the department in which he implicated himself and discussing open cases (which is itself prohibited). Not surprisingly with evidence like that, the result of that investigation was that all of the charges against Klemp were upheld. However, Klemp filed a grievance through the Las Vegas police union.

That grievance was based on a clause in the union’s contract that the school district has to keep officers informed every thirty days during active investigations. Instead, the district notified Klemp of the final results of their investigation 33 days after their last notification. So, as a result, Kemp’s only punishment is to be removed as the head of Internal Affairs. He’ll still be working as a police officer for a local school.

Via KTNV 13 News, the local ABC affiliate:

Internal records obtained by Contact 13 show they were making regular notifications when things took longer than expected.

But CCSD officials made their final notification three days late.

So Associate Superintendent Edward Goldman effectively threw out the entire investigation.

Though Klemp was removed from his position in Internal Affairs, he’ll be allowed to keep his job.

He’s currently a campus officer at Peterson Behavior School.

As Contact 13 first exposed in June, Detective Klemp disclosed confidential information about ongoing internal affairs investigations, told another officer to lie about the source of that information and threatened to come after him if he spoke the truth about it in the future.

All that was caught on an undercover recording made by a former school cop who filed a complaint against Klemp with the District Attorney.

On the recording, Klemp can be heard saying, “And if something happens and I got to I.A. you, if you say anything about this I’m going to call you a motherf—ing liar. And I’ll come at you like a whirlwind because I gotta protect myself.”

In a letter, the D.A. called Klemp’s conduct “highly concerning… especially how he so callously and repeatedly stated he would lie under oath.”

The letter goes on to say that Klemp’s statements “are more than inappropriate and should not go without review and subsequent punishment.”

Klemp did not return our call for comment.

A CCSD spokesperson says Klemp is working as assigned by the CCSD Police Department, and they can’t say more because everything else is part of his confidential personnel record.

So, while the DA claims that Detective Klemps actions should not go without punishment, that’s exactly what will happen. (I’m not entirely sure if it’s ironic or really appropriate that his new assignment is at a school for kids that have been expelled from regular schools for behavior issues.) In fact, based the past behavior of Las Vegas area school cops, Kemp is probably due a hefty promotion. BTW, I’d like to think this was an unintentional over-site, but the fact that Metro waited until Jesus Arevalo had submitted and gotten approved for disability (based on stress from being criticized for murdering Stanley Gibson) before “firing” him two weeks later, just tends to make me a bit skeptical of the motives of Las Vegas Police departments in these type of situations.

Las Vegas School Cop Accused of Assaulting Student and Staff Looked “a Little Bit Crazy-Like” While Swinging Baton

Officer James Lescinsky, who I reported on in June, has begun his trial for assault against a student and a member of the school staff after a fight between two students in the lunch room in May of 2015. He’s also been accused of falsifying his reports to cover up the assaults.

Earlier this week, the federal prosecutors rested their case against the Clark County School District police officer. Witnesses testified that Lescinsky used excess force against the student to break up the fight and then broke the hand of a female staff member with his baton after she tried to intercede on behalf of the student. That testimony added some interesting details to the previous descriptions of the incident.

Via the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Earlier Tuesday, school staffers testified that they saw Lescinsky come into the lunchroom about noon on May 21, 2015, with his baton in the air looking to break up a disturbance.

Monique Hawkins-Wells, an office assistant, said she screamed when she saw Lescinsky swinging the baton, as she was trying to usher students out of the cafeteria.

She testified that she saw the officer push the teenage girl out the cafeteria face first into a concrete wall in the hallway.

Hiding Those Crazy Eyes

Hiding Those Crazy Eyes

Another staffer, food service supervisor Gloria Henyard-Hall, testified that Lescinsky looked “a little bit crazy-like” after he stumbled while entering the lunchroom.

On Monday, the school maintenance worker, Tarika Rushing, told Dorsey from the witness stand that Lescinsky without warning struck her left hand with the baton as she was trying to calm the student, who had been pulled away from a lunchroom fight with another girl. Rushing said the baton broke one of her fingers.

Federal prosecutors contend that Lescinsky’s actions were inconsistent with his training and that he knew what he was doing was wrong.

(Defense lawyer Jack) Campbell maintained that Rushing and the girl were in a heated altercation and that three separate police supervisors later found Lescinsky’s conduct “reasonable” under department policy.
Attention people! The G700 Flashlight is indestructible and the brightest light you have EVER seen. 75% OFF LIMITED time only!! CLICK GRAPHIC NOW!

Attention people! The G700 Flashlight is indestructible and the brightest light you have EVER seen. 75% OFF LIMITED time only!! CLICK GRAPHIC NOW!

It shouldn’t exactly be shocking that police supervisors found Officer Lescinsky’s behavior “reasonable” since police supervisors routinely find anything, up to and including videotaped murder, “reasonable.” That’s especially true in Las Vegas area police departments, where District Attorney Steve Wolfson once justified the kicking of a motorist suffering from diabetic shock in the head because the Henderson police train them to do that in the academy. Even more specifically, the CCSD police supervisors recently determined that when a group of school police got a bunch of teens drunk then allowed one of them to drive home, resulting in a fatal DUI accident, and covered it up afterwards, it was  “within the scope of their duties.”

According to his lawyer, Officer Lescinsky won’t be testifying on his own behalf, but he already has a stacked deck in his favor. Lescinsky “waived” his right to a jury trial and instead will have his case decided by U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey. I wonder how long it will take for her to announce her decision that her co-worker’s conduct was “reasonable.”

Las Vegas School Police Detective And Head of Internal Affairs Facing Internal Investigation

CCSD Police Department
Yet another Las Vegas area school cop is under investigation and this time it’s the detective in charge of conducting investigations on other cops. Detective Christopher Klemp, who was in charge of the Clark County School District Police Department Internal Affairs Division, has been accused of threatening other officers and suppressing evidence in order to influence investigations he took part in.

The allegations against him were included as part of a complaint filed with Klemp’s supervisors by a former CCSD Police lieutenant, who was fired in 2015. part of that complaint included audio recordings of phone calls between the former lieutenant and Det. Klemp.

According to transcripts of those recordings, Klemp implicates himself as well as improperly discusses open investigations. He’s also accused of bragging about his connections to high level school officials in order to intimidate officers whom he was investigating at the time.

Klemp’s involvement and potential misconduct during investigations could jeopardize all of the investigations he conducted while he was in charge of the CCSD Internal Affairs Bureau. That includes the case of James Lescinski, whose case I wrote about here on the CopBlock Network about a week ago. In addition, Detective Klemp was named in an earlier lawsuit over the cover-up of an incident involving a student who got drunk at a party thrown by CCSD police officers and then killed a teenage girl while driving home.

Via 8 News NOW, the local CBS affiliate in Las Vegas:

The purported transcripts of audio recordings with Detective Klemp, confirmed by the Clark County School District’s Police Union, reveal Klemp may have tried to influence investigations in his favor.

School Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky says he’s concerned about the allegations.

“Anytime we have allegations, we investigate the allegations, and because this is a personnel matter, we have to go in and look at it from all angles and determine the next course of action,” Skorkowsky said.

Along with the alleged partial transcript of a recorded conversation with Klemp, the complaint filed by the former CCSD Police lieutenant also contains allegations that Klemp openly discussed ongoing investigations.

It also states Klemp allegedly tried to intimidate officers under investigation. The complaint says Klemp boasted about being close to Dr. Mike Barton, a high-level administrator for the school district, along with other administrators…

Dr. Barton is not named in any other way in the complaint, but the allegations raise some concerns about the integrity of other investigations Klemp had a role in.

8 News NOW spoke with Jack Campbell, the attorney for another officer by phone. Campbell’s client was investigated by Klemp in a use of force case.

Campbell said his client, James Lescinski, was initially cleared of any wrongdoing by his superiors, but a secondary investigation by Klemp led to charges against his client.

“If this case they filed against Jimmy is the result of Detective Klemp’s activity that he talks about on the tape, then this whole prosecution is entirely suspect.”

Klemp’s attorney says the case is scheduled to go to trial in July.

CCSD Police Captain Ken Young told 8 News NOW it may take several days to put together a list of the investigations in which Klemp has participated.

Given that Klemp is about the fifth CCSD police officer that I’ve personally written about in the past year he has a lot of company. Also, given that, much like every other Las Vegas area police department, there’s a complete lack of accountability within the CCSD Police Department, it’s not exactly shocking that the guy responsible for investigating the school police when they drive drunk, crash into another car, assault the driver of the car they hit, then pull a gun on citizens trying to help his victim or get exposed as someone caught masturbating at school while investigating someone who was caught masterbating at school is himself being investigated.

In fact, the very true story that the LVMPD promoted a cop who was proven to have lied in order to illegally arrest someone in a clear violation of the Constitution and then put her in charge of their own internal affairs department is pretty indicative of the state of policing within Las Vegas.

It’s shocking that they have such a bad reputation and residents have such little trust in them.

Las Vegas School Cop Charged With Assaulting Student and Staff Member With Baton Enters Plea

In May, Officer James Lescinsky became the latest in a growing number of Las Vegas school cops to be implicated in a violent crime and/or official misconduct. Lescinsky, while employed by the Clark County School District Police in North Las Vegas, is accused of assaulting both a student and a school staff member with his police baton in May of 2015. He’s also accused of slamming the student into a wall and onto the floor. Additionally, he has been charged with falsifying his report and lying to cover up his actions.

On May 26, Officer Lescinsky made his initial court appearance and pled not guilty to five federal charges. In addition to the assault charges and the charge of falsifying an incident report, he’s also charged with tampering with a witness by asking them to lie and support his story.

Neither the student nor the staff member, both of whom are female, have been identified publicly.

Via the Las Vegas Sun:

A Las Vegas-area school police officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges alleging he attacked a student and a school staff member and tried to cover it up.

 James Lescinsky, 45, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen, who let him remain free ahead of a July 26 trial, but ordered him to surrender personal weapons and return his police equipment to the Clark County School District.
Lescinsky has been suspended from his district and police duties, a district spokeswoman said…

An indictment alleges that Lescinsky struck and injured the female staff member with a police baton, and unlawfully assaulted the student by hitting her with the baton and slamming her into a hallway wall and floor.

Lescinsky is accused of lying when he said the student was combative and that the student and staff member were wrestling; of falsifying incident reports; and of trying to persuade a witness to provide a false account of the incident.

Convictions on the five charges could get Lescinsky decades in prison.

Slap On The WristI wouldn’t hold your breath based on the theory that he could get “decades in prison,” though. I can almost guarantee you he’ll get the typical Policeman’s Discount. He isn’t likely to spend even a day in jail once they give him a plea deal for some dramatically lesser charge involving a very hard slap on the wrist and some probation time.

FOX5 Vegas – KVVU

Within Scope Of Their Duties: Las Vegas School Police Got Teens Drunk, Covered It Up After Deadly DUI

It was announced this week that the Clark County School District Police Department had settled a lawsuit in a case in Las Vegas in which a teen killed a 25 year old woman while driving drunk in 2009.

That teen, Kevin Miranda, had spent the evening drinking heavily with CCSD police officers at a holiday party hosted by school police dispatcher Rebecca Wamsley. Dozens of other teens were also present and allowed to drink during the party, as well. None of the numerous cops present even so much as stopped Miranda or, presumably, any of the other teens (or adults) at the party from driving while drunk.

As soon as the police heard about the accident, they “sprang into action,” initiating a cover up to ensure nobody within the school police department investigated the conduct of those at the party. They also stonewalled an investigation by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police by making the ridiculous claim that they all were “looking at the wall” during the time that all of the teens were drinking. In reality, officers were actually playing beer pong and doing shots of hard liquor with the teens.

Amazingly enough, Federal Judge Larry Hicks actually ruled that the officers involved in the cover up were protected from a federal lawsuit because they were “acting within the scope of their duties” at the time. Therefore the parents of the victim, Angela Peterson, were limited in state court to a $75,000 settlement, which they refused to accept.

The settlement was accepted on their behalf by Mark Cook, the lawyer representing them, and placed into a scholarship fund in Angela’s name. Not surprisingly, part of that agreement is that none of the officers who engaged in the cover up will be charged or in any other way punished for their actions.

Meanwhile, Captain Jim Ketsaa, the man former Chief Phil Arroyo says he assigned to carry out the “investigation” has now been promoted to replace him as the chief of the CCSD Police Department. In addition, Erik Aldays, who was formerly the head of the school police union, has stated that many officers that new about the incident were afraid to come forward and provide information because they thought they would be punished if they did.

Frank and Linda Peterson are continuing with individual lawsuits against three officers who were not given legal immunity, Officers Mark Robbins, Tina Zuniga, and Cynthia Ruelas, all of whom attended the party and were actively involved with Miranda while he was drinking. Robbins, in particular, is accused of playing beer pong with teens, including Miranda, during the party.

Masturbating Janitor Case Exposes Cover-Up of Las Vegas School Cop’s Sex Crimes

CCSD Police Officer Masturbation Sgt Mitch Maciszak

In December, a complaint by a Las Vegas elementary school teacher led to the arrest of Michael Timothy Skelton, an overnight custodian, for masturbating on school property. However, within the course of researching that story Darcy Spears, a local news reporter, uncovered information that shows the school police officer in charge of investigating the allegations against the custodian has his own sordid history of sex related incidents and, unlike Skelton, the Clark County School District Police Department didn’t prosecute him and has actually covered up that criminal history.

In fact, Sgt. Maciszak was himself caught in the act of masturbating at a local middle school and has a history of sexually explicit transgressions dating back years. He was reported as having engaged in sex acts with a department employee both in his patrol car and within the same office that he was discovered going to town on himself while watching Asian porn on a department computer. For good measure, he was also accused of getting really drunk and using his cell phone to take photos up the skirts of women during a police department Christmas party.

The greatest moment contained on the videos below is within the second one, consisting of an interview between Darcy Spears and Sgt. Maciszak regarding the charges against Skelton. She’s doesn’t bring up Maciszak’s own history until after she’s already got him to discuss how seriously the CCSD police take cases involving masturbation on school property. She also gets him to say that the department’s ultimate goal for such cases is “always jail time.”

Up to that point, Maciszak is pretty relaxed and happy to discuss how inappropriate the janitor’s behavior was. That changes quite a bit shortly after, though, when Spears begins to discuss Maciszak’s own behavior. Suddenly, he doesn’t want to discuss it because it’s a “personnel issue.” Shortly after, Captain Ken Young, who was monitoring the interview, agreed that it’s a personnel issue and declared the interview over as Maciszak stands up and starts taking his microphone off.

So, it’s okay to discuss a school janitor’s dirty hands, even though it’s not just a personnel issue but also a criminal matter. However, the interview is over as soon as someone brings up the fact that the cop in charge of investigating that case has left some stains of his own on school property.

Via KTNV 13 Action News in Las Vegas: (emphasis added)

Darcy Spears: The ultimate goal in cases like this is what?

Sgt. Maciszak: Well, we always like — like to see some type of outcome to where some type of sentence is imposed.  Either jail time — always jail time.

Skelton cut a plea deal, putting him behind bars for two years.  Then, he’ll have to register as a sex offender.

Darcy Spears: Safe to say that CCSD Police takes this type of incident–masturbating on school property–very seriously?

Sgt. Maciszak: Absolutely.  We take all incidents seriously.  Any type of incident that could impact our children, our staff, our visitors of the school district, we want to make sure–like I said–they’re safe when they come to our property.

Though Maciszak says the Skelton case is unique, our research suggests that this might not be an isolated incident.

We asked Maciszak to flash back to when he was a detective stationed at Garside Middle School.

Darcy Spears: This was a case that our research tells us involved you personally, and an Internal Affairs investigation and masturbation at Garside and pornography.

Sgt. Maciszak: You’re speaking of a personnel issue and I’m not comfortable speaking with that.

It’s something the CCSD Police Department has kept secret… Until now.

Contact 13 obtained an audio recording from a 2012 School Police Internal Affairs investigation.

Internal Affairs Investigator Courtney Purcell of the Bureau of Professional Standards says, “A couple of years before that, while Det. Maciszak was working Adult Education at Garside, Art Sturdivant, who used to be one of our officers but now works for Henderson Police, walked into the police office at Garside and caught Maciszak masturbating while watching pornography on his work computer.

Officer Mike Thomas: That’s what Art Sturdivant told me, yes.

Darcy Spears spoke to Officer Sturdivant, who recounted what he saw that day.

He said he tried to use his key to get into the police office at Garside, but the chain lock on the inside blocked him from opening the door all the way.

He saw Maciszak jump back, bend over to cover himself and run into the back office.

Maciszak’s belt was lying on the desk and there was Asian pornography on the computer screen.

Officer Mike Thomas on the audio tape says, “The tech over at Garside had constantly–it was kind of like common knowledge — had constantly — that computer was always crashed.  It had so much pornography on it that they had to constantly go in there and fix the problem.

When we asked the District about the incident, they sent a written statement, which says, “Concerns were brought forward, which were investigated administratively. Appropriate action was taken.”

But in two cases, which both involved masturbating on school property, custodian Michael Skelton was arrested, charged and sent to prison. 

Because no one blew the whistle on Mitch Maciszak, his case wasn’t even investigated for years. 

That investigation started on the very day Maciszak was promoted to sergeant. 

The outcome, our sources say?  A letter of reprimand in a personnel file.

“As far as I know, this was a reprimand in the file and no criminal charges were filed?” Darcy Spears asked Sgt. Maciszak.  But before he could answer, CCSD Police Captain Ken Young, who was supervising the interview, said, “At this point, like I said, we talked about that, this is a personnel issue.  So at this point we would have to conclude the interview.”

Maciszak takes off his microphone, and leaves the room.

Contact 13 learned this was just the tip of the iceberg with Sgt. Maciszak.

Sgt Mitch Maciszak CCSD PoliceAs detailed in the video, Sgt. Maciszak was not held accountable for his inappropriate sexual activity while on duty at a school in any way criminally, even though they exactly matched the actions of Michael Skelton for which he was charged with felony crimes. Instead, Maciszak was given a meaningless reprimand and then actually promoted to sergeant, even as he was being investigated for the masturbation incident.

And it gets better.

The third video embedded below details even more of Sgt. Maciszak’s “personnel issues:”

But Contact 13 discovered the cop who headed up the investigation had a dark secret of his own.

“How would it look it if got out that he was involved in the same type of activity that he was investigating?” CCSD Police Officer Mike Thomas asked during a March, 2012 Internal Affairs investigation.  Contact 13 obtained the audio recording of that interview…

Darcy Spears: Is it fair for you, with a background like that, to be investigating a case like this? Do you see a possible conflict of interest?

Sgt. Mitch Maciszak: There is no conflict of interest.

Maciszak is no stranger to allegations of sex acts on the job.  What is strange for him is having to answer publicly for his actions…

Other officers were not comfortable speaking out about Maciszak’s behavior until sources say it became impossible to ignore.  They came to Officer Mike Thomas, who heads the police union’s grievance committee.

“Taken as a whole, I think there’s a pattern that did give me some concern,” Thomas told Internal Affairs.

Specifically, sex on the job at school police headquarters.  Investigators were told Maciszak was getting oral sex from another department employee in his assigned school district vehicle.

“And on at least one occasion, he allegedly took her into his work office and had sex with her,” the Internal Affairs investigator repeats during the interview with Thomas.

Thomas added, “I think if you have impulses that you can’t keep in check and you bring them into the workplace, then I think that’s an issue.”

The other issue Internal Affairs investigated is something Officer Thomas witnessed first hand on December 18, 2010 at the Police Officer’s Association Christmas party, which was attended by about 125 department employees and their guests.

IA investigator: And that you saw Det. Maciszak, who you felt was obviously intoxicated, taking his camera phone, sticking it up women’s skirts and taking pictures up their skirts?

Mike Thomas: Yes.

Multiple people who were at the party tell Contact 13 they saw it too.

Officer Thomas told investigators, “To say he was out of control was an understatement.”

The behavior described is a clear violation of the School Police code of conduct.  Sanctions are supposed to get stricter with each additional offense.

According to an internal memo Contact 13 obtained, the complaints against Maciszak were “fully investigated and the appropriate administrative action” was taken.

We don’t know what that action was, but we do know Maciszak was promoted to sergeant during the investigation and even acts as a department spokesman, including in the case of custodian Michael Skelton.

When we asked him about Skelton, he said, “This employee chose, consciously, to do the wrong thing and make the wrong decision.  Therefore, he has to face the consequences that have been dealt to him.”

So, after a school janitor “chose, consciously, to do the wrong thing and make the wrong decision,” he had to “face the consequences” of a felony record, prison time, and being forced to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life. Meanwhile, the cop investigating Skelton has a history of sexual crimes longer and even worse than him. However, instead of having to face the consequences of his actions, Sgt. Maciszak’s conscious and chosen wrong decisions are treated as a personnel issue and swept under the rug without any meaningful consequences, whatsoever. In fact, according to the CCSD Police Department, the “appropriate administrative action” was for him to be promoted and made a spokesperson for the department, not to be criminally charged or even fired.

This is hardly the first recent case of a CCSD cop getting arrested or of sex crimes being committed by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Nor is it even a rare example of Las Vegas police covering up for their fellow employees or other government officials. It’s hardly shocking that people living in Las Vegas have such little trust of the police or faith in police “investigators” with that type of sterling history for accountability among area police departments.