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Former Metro police captain alleges abuse of power

Reported by: Reed Cowan
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Updated: 3/20 12:37 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The FBI is asking questions about a former police captain’s allegation that top Metropolitan Police Department officials discussed ways to discredit the chairman of the Clark County Commission.

Former Metro Cpt. David O’Leary spoke exclusively to News 3 not long after News 3 detailed freebie flights given to non-police employees on department helicopters. O’Leary says Metro forced him out in the wake of the initial helicopter reports.

He says two FBI agents knocked on his door Wednesday night, asking him questions about the department.

News 3 reporter Reed Cowan received an email from the FBI Thursday evening confirming agents did get information from O’Leary, but that there is no “active investigation” at this time.

In a formal statement, FBI spokesperson Bridgett Pappas said:

“The FBI recently received information regarding claims made by former LVMPD Captain David O’Leary. Based on this information, we have determined that a violation of federal criminal law has not occurred.”

O’Leary says he recognizes the department may dismiss him as a disgruntled employee, but that he came forward to tell his side of the story.

“I know the capabilities of some of these people,” he says. “They are not going to not react. They’ve been known to go to great lengths to inflict damage to others.”

O’Leary alleges a chief in the department called a closed-door, private meeting of captains in the investigative services division. The chief floated the idea of investigating Commissioner Sisolak—just days after the first time county commissioners rejected the “more cops tax” advanced by Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie.

“[Sisolak] was viewed as an obstacle to getting the ‘more cops tax’ and that was very contentious,” O’Leary says. “He’s not very well liked by the Police Department.”

The meeting’s purpose, O’Leary says, was “putting together a group of people who had the expertise of working organized crime to revisit and review some of the things about Commissioner Sisolak from his past."

“You look at his business associations, his personal associations, his business practices…other sources of information. Are they digging? They’re digging. Yes.”

“Is that unusual? Very,” O’Leary says. “It’s something I’ve never heard we’ve done before; an act of desperation, resentment, anger."

“There was no doubt in my mind that the inference was to try and bring discredit upon the county commissioner,” O’Leary adds.

He says the chief had discussed the Sisolak plan with Sheriff Gillespie. But he stops short of saying whether any captain took up the mission to discredit the commissioner. Gillespie was not at the meeting, he says.

“I don’t believe (captain’s name redacted) would do anything without the direct knowledge of the sheriff,” O’Leary says.

Attempting to get the department’s response to the allegations, Cowan tried to approach Gillespie at a public event so he could ask him questions. A police officer blocked the reporter and the sheriff was shuttled off in a car.

Cowan then asked the department for approval to interview people who were alleged to have attended the meeting. The department did not respond.

Reporter Cowan tried again to get a reaction. The department denied the requests. Explaining the denial, officials said News 3 had not disclosed the source of its information nor provided a list of questions, something journalists rarely do.

Reacting to the allegations, Sisolak says he will wait to see News 3’s reports before responding.

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