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Misdeeds, firing, arbitration: 8 who got jobs back in Nevada

Updated December 9, 2021 - 2:42 pm

Here are eight examples of reinstated Nevada employees after sustained misconduct:

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Names are not released)

Who: Metro corrections officer

Fired: Date not listed in ruling

Rehired: June 28, 2015

Complaint: Officer got into a bar fight after his son provoked another patron with racial comments; officer had previously been disciplined for public drunkenness.

Ruling: Arbitrator Richard C. Anthony ruled the officer should be rehired because he was not convicted of the criminal charge.

Who: Metro corrections officer

Fired: February 13, 2017

Rehired: June 6, 2017

Complaint: Corrections officer started sexual relationship with inmate and let her drive his vehicle in which she got a DUI.

Ruling: Arbitrator Richard C. Anthony reinstated officer after determining the girlfriend couldn’t be called a person of ill repute because she was never convicted of a felony.

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Clark County School District (Names are not released)

Who: District custodian

Fired: October 11, 2016

Rehired: August 31, 2017

Complaint: Crashed district vehicle while high on drugs.

Ruling: Arbitrator Alexander Cohn reinstated him but ruled for immediate termination if he tests positive for drugs again.

Who: Ruby Duncan Elementary School teacher

Fired: April 9, 2014

Rehired: June 19, 2015

Complaint: School officials determined that she either inflated test scores or was too incompetent to do assessment properly and had prior discipline for releasing student to an unknown person; also letting her husband use a district computer and failing to provide lesson plans.

Ruling: Arbitrator Carl B.A. Lange III ruled that an 18-day suspension was more appropriate than termination.

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State of Nevada (names released because case brought to public hearing)

Who: Department of Corrections officer Johnny Bilavarn

Fired: October 21, 2016

Rehired: Sept, 24, 2017

Complaint: Bilavarn left his post through a back way three hours into an eight-hour mandatory OT shift, causing the unit to be locked down. Had prior discipline for sleeping during a training, making an inmate exercise to point of vomiting and accidentally bringing his cellphone into the facility.

Ruling: Hearing officer Mark Gentile reinstated Bilavarn with back pay because the department did not give him the four-hour notice required for mandatory overtime. Bilavarn’s attorney Adam Levine said the state repeatedly loses decisions over its failure to give proper notice for overtime and it wastes taxpayer resources litigating the issue.

Who: Department of Public Safety supervisor Karen Haycox

Fired: Nov. 29, 2017

Rehired: Nov. 7, 2018

Complaint: Haycox was fired for allegedly using racially insensitive language, trying to influence her subordinates’ political preferences in the 2016 election, and failing to follow her supervisor’s direction.

Ruling: Hearing officer Robert Zentz reinstated Haycox because the department did not complete the investigation quickly enough. Haycox attorney Adam Levine said he believes Haycox would have been reinstated on the merits because she had a First Amendment right to political speech, and the other allegations against her were not that serious.

Who: Forensic Technician Sir John Hawkins

Fired: Date not listed in ruling

Rehired: November 14, 2019

Complaint: Hawkins allegedly mistreated, abused or endangered patients at Stein Hospital.

Ruling: Hearing officer Robert Zentz reinstated Hawkins because the department failed to give him proper notification under the Peace Officer Bill of Rights legislation. Hawkins’ attorney Adam Levine said he believes Hawkins would have been reinstated on the merits because Hawkins was helping a fellow employee who was being attacked by a patient/inmate who articulated a stated intention to kill that fellow employee, and the force used to assist that fellow employee was objectionably reasonable.

Who: Department of Corrections officer Andrew Maier

Fired: June 26, 2017

Rehired: Oct. 11, 2017

Complaint: Maier allegedly left the prison control room open, a potential security breach, while he was in the break room socializing with inmates. His attorney declined comment saying he no longer represents him or the union.

Ruling: Hearing officer Victoria Oldenberg did not find the evidence supported termination.

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