District response quite different from its reaction last year
LAS VEGAS — Two Clark County School District employees face possible criminal charges over allegations that they possessed, sold and/or exchanged handguns on a high school campus recently.
The case — turned over by school police to the District Attorney one month ago — appears, however, to be stalled in the DA’s initial “screening phase.”
“We’ve requested additional information from school police,” a representative of the DA’s office told Nevada Journal. “A decision [regarding charges] can’t be made until we receive that.”
Once CCSD police respond, District Attorney Steve Wolfson will review the case and decide whether or not to pursue criminal charges, said the office. Until then the case remains “pending,” and no arrest warrants can be issued.
Last December, Jake Howell, a former Northwest Career and Technical Academy student on campus to visit a teacher, was arrested immediately after acknowledging an unloaded rifle was in his car, which was parked on school grounds. Packed with survival gear in preparation for the “Mayan Apocalypse,” the car also held an airsoft pellet pistol, rifle ammunition and three knives.
In this new incident, neither employee was arrested.
“The decision to arrest and press charges would be Metro’s,” says Amanda Fulkerson, CCSD communications officer.
Metro’s role in this CCSD-PD case, however, is not yet clear.
Captain Ken Young, speaking for school police, says he doesn’t know what additional information the DA’s office is waiting for.
“I talked to the individual who delivered all the information” to that office, said Young, “and he said that it was all there.”
The incident took place on the campus of Valley High School around the end of April and involved a school-district administrator and a support-staff employee.
According to multiple CCSD sources, the administrator was selling or exchanging firearms with the employee. Some reports indicate the administrator was also in possession of a knife.
Clark County School district has a no-weapons policy which includes guns and knives. According to that policy, employees caught with weapons on school district property are “subject to dismissal.”
Both employees currently remain on the job.
According to Young, the situation did not involve concealed weapons or a concealed-weapons-carry permit. While he confirmed that two unloaded handguns and a knife were involved, he declined to confirm it was a sell or exchange transaction.
Nevada Journal was told that the administrator involved claims he had approval to possess firearms on school-district property from former CCSD Superintendent Carlos Garcia and written authorization from another former CCSD administrator.
The retired administrator, already interviewed by school police, tells Nevada Journal she does not remember issuing any memo.
“I’m not fessing up to that,” she said. “It’s not on my stationary. It’s not something I would say.”
“Why,” she asks, “would I sign a memo not on my stationary?” Besides, she continues, “who am I to give this authority?”
Her recollection of Garcia’s approval was that the administrator, who was working a second job in security, was allowed to have an unloaded gun, “locked in the trunk of his car. In a locked box,” and “parked off campus.”
How that got to where it is today, she says, she has no idea.
Nevada Journal will continue to monitor this developing story.