trans·par·en·cy noun \tran(t)s-ˈper-ən(t)-sē\
having visibility or accessibility of information…
Nearly four months after being stopped for speeding with an alleged blood alcohol level of .22, a Metro Corrections officer was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence and driving on a revoked license. Additionally, Jason Grove, a 16 year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, was charged with Domestic violence during his Thursday arrest.
Grove, 47, was allegedly stopped in late April for speeding when, according to police reports, he failed field sobriety tests. Authorities further allege Grove had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit during the April incident, but have released no additional details on the DUI incident or the events which lead to his being charged with Domestic Violence.
Why Metro waited nearly four months before arresting Grove or releasing the DUI incident to the public has not been explained, but does seem in direct contradiction to Sheriff Doug Gillespie’s continued promise to ensure Metro maintains a reputation of integrity, transparency and community inclusion, a promise first made after Gillespie was caught lying to the public about the crash that took the life of Metro Officer James Manor. Gillespie was emphatic for days after the 2009 crash that Manor and a fellow officer had their lights and sirens on as they sped down Flamingo road at speeds exceeding 100 mph in the moments before Manor collided with Calvin Darling, an employee in the Bellagio’s engineering department who was just trying to make it home alive after his work shift. He maintained this position despite numerous witnesses who came forward to contradict Metro’s account.
Darling was immediately blamed for the accident, his heroic efforts to try to save Manor from his burning vehicle ignored, and he was immediately charged with driving under the influence despite a blood alcohol level less than 20% the legal limit. Although Darling eventually received a six figure settlement from Metro, the department did very little to fully exonerate the man vilified to protect the reputation of a reckless officer, as Gillespie’s weak “Mea culpa” below demonstrates.
I guess we should have known when the sheriff’s first display of Metro’s new level of transparency was to withhold the name of the second officer speeding in the dark of night without lights or sirens alerting fellow drivers. This was also the driver that initially told the “lie heard ’round the valley,” set up the innocent Darling to be arrested, painted a villain, an enemy of law enforcement. A reputation that stuck, as even today, the blame for the accident is placed on Darling on the police memorial sites such as Policeone.com, and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
So are we supposed to take Gillespie’s decision to keep this story from the public the same way we should take his silence about the department’s recent backroom deal to let the Drunk Driving Detective, Timothy Nicothodes, receive a medical retirement rather that the customary termination that most cops turned convicted felons are awarded.
Or better yet, Gillespie should just let us all know what his personal definition of “TRANSPARENCY” is because he sure doesn’t seem to have the same one the rest of the English-speaking world does.
Grove is currently on paid administrative leave pending both criminal and internal investigations. In 2011 taxpayers shelled out $141,771.97 in total pay & benefits to C.O. Grove.
- Sheriff Gillespie Asks For More Funding (lasvegas.cbslocal.com)
- Las Vegas Correction Officer Charged with Battery, DUI and Driving with revoked license (guardianlv.com)
- Requiem For a Chimp – Primate’s Death Exposes More Metro Monkey Business (clarkcountycriminalcops.wordpress.com)