Las Vegas Sun

August 31, 2014

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State investigating conduct of Capitol Police officers

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

The dome of the Nevada State Capitol building is seen before the start of the 2013 legislative session Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013 in Carson City.

A quiet investigation has been under way for about two months into the conduct of a group of Capitol Police officers, the governor confirmed today.

Several officers, believed to be five or six, have been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Gov. Brian Sandoval confirmed that he ordered the investigation but declined to give specifics.

"There was a situation that was brought to my attention that I don't know all the details of," Sandoval said. "It's a personnel situation and upon learning of it I asked for an investigation."

Capitol Polie provide security for the governor, elected officials and their staffs in the state capitol.

Other officers say they have been told not to discuss the investigation.

Sandoval said the concern came from the Department of Public Safety, which oversees Capitol Police.

Asked if the investigation concerned activities that would have put the safety of elected officials at risk, Sandoval answered: "Not that I am aware of."

He said the investigation has been referred to Capitol Police and the Department of Personnel.

Asked if any officer had been disciplined, the governor said, "Once I asked for that investigation, I stepped out."

Gerald Gardner, chief of staff for Sandoval, said one officer has been returned to duty but the investigation is continuing. He said Tuesday the results would be turned over to the state attorney general's office.

The force is responsible for the security in the capitol, which houses the offices of the governor, secretary of state, treasurer and controller and their staffs. The police also provide security for the attorney general's office, which is across the street from the capitol, and to the Governor's Mansion.

The police also provided security for the Nevada Supreme Court. The court was not satisfied with their work. It requested and gained approval from the Legislature to hire its own force.

Officers are stationed 24 hours per day in the capitol and patrol other state buildings.

The Legislature has its own police force.

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