Saturday, May 13, 2006

(10) POLICE, FBI CONNECTION TO ORAM

The treatment of Steve Harney started above in our section on Erin Kenny, but transitions well into the sordid relations Oram has with the police department. How do Oram, Vassiliadis, Rogich and even Goodmanget away with obviously corrupt activities? It's clear it's becauseof close, and I mean close, ties to the police and even FBI.


Wejust saw above how the Police Protective Association, a dupe of Oram,was willing to send a mailer showing a man with a missing eyeball toscare people away from Steve Harney, But there is even more to theHarney story, it is one of many examples of how Oram uses insiderinfluence in the police department to influence political events.


Friday,May 08, 1998


Candidate'sflier upsets patrol chief

Trooperand county office hopeful Steve Harney says he is being forced toretire, a claim his boss denies.

TheNevada Highway Patrol chief denied Thursday that he is forcing ClarkCounty Commission candidate Steve Harney to retire as a trooper andaccused Harney of lying about their conversation to get publicity.

ChiefMichael Hood angrily denounced Harney's claim that Harney is beingforced out and said he merely told Harney in a Thursday conversationthat he could not use the term "trooper" or pictures ofhimself in uniform in campaign material.

"Steveas well as anyone knows you cannot use your position as a lawenforcement officer to foster political gain," Hood said. "Icannot let the public be victimized by him using the Highway Patrol'sname and integrity when we don't know what type of countycommissioner he'd be."

Harney,the former Clark County spokesman for the Highway Patrol who filedMonday to challenge incumbent Commissioner Erin Kenny, issued astatement Thursday insisting Hood is forcing him out because he hadasked for time off to campaign. The statement made no mention of theuniform and title usage issue, but Harney said later in an interviewthat he saw no problem with the literature.

"Afterhe got off the phone with (the Review-Journal), he called me andthreatened me," Harney said. "He said if he sees any ofthat literature, he would put an injunction on it, and he told me hewould deal with me within the department. But I won't be bullied."


Isthis just a tempest in a teapot? Are we imagining that Harney wasbeing targeted by others in the police department in retribution forrunning against Erin Kenny? A lawsuit by Highway Patrol trooper KenGager (the guy with the missing eyeball, remember?) alleged thatHarney, as president of the troopers' union in 1996, conspired withthe Nevada Highway Patrol administration to have Gager demoted orfired for questioning the use of union funds, even though Gager'sduties had not changed since he returned to a desk job a year afterthe blast. Consequently we know Harney had bucked the unionestablishment, an establishment Oram kept under his careful guidance. The payback for Harney questioning the union was the PoliceProtective Association mailer.


Togive the reader a further flavor of how embedded Oram is within thelaw enforcement community, and has links up to the attorney generalfor that matter, look at this exchange recorded in the Las Vegas SunOctober 11, 2002 :


ColumnistErin Neff: Only endorsements that count are by voters

JohnHunt, a Democrat running for attorney general, says he doesn't haveany major law enforcement endorsements because every organization hadalready endorsed Republican candidate Brian Sandoval before Huntentered the race in March.<p>

Duringa debate Thursday, Sandoval asked Hunt why he tried to deflectattention from his lack of endorsements by decrying the process as a"back-room deal."

Huntanswered that it is an insider's game, because political consultantKent Oram works for both the PPA and Sandoval.

Thesuggestion? Oram went to the PPA and told it to endorse Sandoval.

"Ifyou're telling me it's a back-room deal," Hunt said to Sandoval,"fine."


Inshort, Oram has bought not only the police, but the police unions andthe attorney generals office. Apparently, he can call on policeinsides to play dirty tricks as well, as shown in 2002 when MichaelMacDonald lost to Janet Moncrief:.


Review Journal, Wednesday, November 05, 2003 EDITORIAL: Leaks and probes

-Sheriff Bill Young has made the right moves so far in theinvestigation of a police dispatcher who trumped up allegations thatnewly elected Las Vegas City Councilwoman Janet Moncrief had beendriving drunk. But the matter is -- or should be -- far from settled.

Ms. Moncrief,a political neophyte, unseated City Councilman (and former Metropolice officer) Michael McDonald after a bitter campaign. A few weeksafter her election, police unexpectedly removed Ms. Moncrief fromFellini's restaurant and gave her a field sobriety test -- theofficers determined she was not intoxicated. That prompted the newcouncil member to ask Sheriff Young why she had been singled out.

An InternalAffairs investigation revealed that Ms. Moncrief's accuser was aMetro dispatcher, Cynthia Thomas. Ms. Thomas -- whose husband is aformer police colleague of Mr. McDonald's and worked on hisre-election campaign -- claimed she saw Ms. Moncrief consume severaldrinks at the Ice House downtown before following the councilwoman asshe "erratically" drove to Fellini's.

The probe alsodiscovered that Ms. Thomas improperly accessed Ms. Moncrief's policerecord during the campaign and leaked information about the candidateto the press, including several traffic arrests from 1994. During theprobe, Ms. Thomas also reportedly lied to investigators about herrole in what Sheriff Young aptly called "political shenanigans."

On Thursday, Ms.Thomas was temporarily relieved of duty, while Sheriff Young decideson further disciplinary actions. "You don't use our powers, ourlaw enforcement agency for this type of unethical and dishonestaction," Mr. Young said. "I'm not going to tolerate it.”

And what exactlywasn't Young going to tolerate? Kent Oram's group using the policeas a shill for their dirty work? Employees of the police departmentworking for a campaign (directed by Paladin and OIZ) and then usingtheir police power to rifle through police records and plant storiesand incite arrests of private citizens when their boy loses anelection? Of course, the reason Young would act as an Oram stooge wasbecause Young's campaign manager was none other than -- Kent Oram:

Review Journal, Thursday,November 08, 2001 :

SHERIFF CAMPAIGN:Young enters race to succeed Keller

Young said hispriority, "first and foremost, is to make this the safesttourist destination in the world. We have to protect our lifeblood,the tourist industry. It has to be preserved and protected."

He's alreadylined up some of the state's biggest consulting names -- Sig Rogich,Billy Vassiliadis and Kent Oram -- to help his campaign effort.

Young predictedthe sheriff's race will be a "dogfight" and said he wouldneed to raise between $1 million and $1.5 million for the county-widerace.

Oram describedYoung as a career police officer, "and in my opinion, that'swhat this town is going to want in a sheriff. I do not see anoutsider winning this race."



Of course "an outsider" couldn't win the race, because Oram has been deciding the sheriff campaign for a long time and has close connections to the police unions. If it were the casethat Young wouldn't tolerate corruption, then he probably would havebeen kept in the loop on the G-Sting scandal, but that wasn't the case. From the Las VegasSun, June 5: 2003



Operation G-StingUpdate: Strip Club Owner Target Of FBI Probe (June 5)

FBI agents andMetro Police swooped down on local topless clubs one week agoWednesday. The probe is looking into under-the-table cash paymentsbetween strip club owners and elected officials. Eyewitness News haslearned Clark County Sheriff Bill Young is complaining Metro has beenleft out of the loop on this probe. And new information hassurfaced about secretly recorded tapes of strip club owners talkingabout those cash payments to officials. A grand jury is meetingdaily and discussing this on-going case.



Obviously the Fedsknew Young was likely to tip off political insider Kent Oram. IfYoung was clueless about G-Sting, he wasn't clueless about who hisbest buddies were and right after the scandal broke, he went back tothe well with Oram and Vassiliadis for his campaign for more moneyfor the police department. From the Las Vegas Sun, October 17, 2003

Columnist JeffGerman: Young seeks tax hike for more cops

On Thursday Youngset the wheels in motion for an ambitious ballot initiative in 2004to ask voters for a property tax hike to put more cops on the street.

He summoned asmall group of community leaders he hopes will help him raise $1million for the campaign to his City Hall office, where he pitchedhis case for additional officers.

At the meetingYoung received a $20,000 check from the Las Vegas Police ProtectiveAssociation, the union that represents the officers under thesheriff's command, to kick off the fund-raising drive.

Young already hasassembled an impressive array of political strategists to coordinatethe ballot initiative, which officially won't get underway untilearly next year. Kent Oram, Sig Rogich and Billy Vassiliadis all areon board.



These close ties certainly have the appearance of corruption, after all, Vassiliadis and Oram don't run these campaigns for chump change. In fact, Oram and Vassiliadis have long had a lock on determining the sheriff race. From Review Journal, January 08, 1998: Former rival's endorsement gets Keller's campaign rolling

If Hitt can assemble a capable inside team -- and sources say the prospect of his candidacy has been well received by police veterans Randy Oaks and Gary Schofield -- then he could be perceived at Metro as a viable alternative to Keller.
If he can gather a small group of monied backers who are interested in seeing a new face in the office, and sources say Hitt already has begun collecting names, then he might be able to amass enough funds to make his candidacy appear financially viable.
Add a competent campaign manager from outside the state -- Keller already has Kent Oram and Billy Vassiliadis locked up -- and Hitt could gain the political acumen he now lacks.
Then there is the Police Protective Association endorsement to consider, something Vassiliadis traditionally has been able to deliver for his candidates. If Hitt runs, that endorsement won't be guaranteed.
If Hitt can assemble a capable inside team -- and sources say the prospect of his candidacy has been well received by police veterans Randy Oaks and Gary Schofield -- then he could be perceived at Metro as a viable alternative to Keller.
If he can gather a small group of monied backers who are interested in seeing a new face in the office, and sources say Hitt already has begun collecting names, then he might be able to amass enough funds to make his candidacy appear financially viable.
Add a competent campaign manager from outside the state -- Keller already has Kent Oram and Billy Vassiliadis locked up -- and Hitt could gain the political acumen he now lacks.
Then there is the Police Protective Association endorsement to consider, something Vassiliadis traditionally has been able to deliver for his candidates. If Hitt runs, that endorsement won't be guaranteed.

Apparently Young and the PPA are either soblind, or so corrupt, that they could be bought off with a campaign by Oram and Vassiliadis for moredoughnut money. Of course, this suggests the reason Las Vegas ended up with beat policemen/strip bar consultants like Malone and McDonald in political office.