On Your Side: Dave Evans case gets costly for Reno

Reported by: Joe Hart
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Updated: 9/24/2013 1:14 pm
The following is an excerpt from a recording of Reno's deputy police chief Dave Evans, speaking to his friend and fellow officer Sgt. Jim Stegmaier last year:

"What you do with Amy, you gotta bomb her. Bomb the (expletive) out of her . Anything you can think of. Then put all of the attention on Amy and see how you're treated in the process."

Evans was reportedly advising Stegmaier on how to shift the blame during an internal affairs investigation.  Stegmaier had been accused of pointing his gun at other officers while on duty.    Evans didn't know Stegmaier was recording the conversation, but apparently realized he should not have been speaking to Stegmaier about this topic.

"You never told me this.  If I knew this officially I'd have to step down," Evans went on to say in the recording.

The tapes became the focus of an internal investigation at the Reno Police Department.  Insiders tell News 4 Evans was likely to be fired.

And the case was moving forward.  Evans was put on paid administrative leave in August of 2012.  On December 19th the city's discipline review board made its recommendation to police chief Steve Pitts for firing.   But eight days later on December 27th, Evans filed suit, before the chief had acted on the review board's recommendation.

"I believe Mr. Evans was insecure that the chief was going to fire him," said Reno's deputy city attorney Jack Campbell.

And that's where this case bogged down.  Washoe District Court Judge Brent Adams ruled the secret recordings, the heart and soul of this case, violated city policy and could not be used in the investigation.  

So the city appealed that ruling to the Nevada Supreme Court.    And they were told they might wait three years or longer to get a ruling from the court.

Evans' attorney Kent Robison says he blames the city for stalling this case by filing that appeal.

But the fact is with Evans still being paid his full salary of $267,000 a year including benefits, city officials say they simply couldn't afford to wait this case out.  

"At his salary of $267,000 it might have been a million dollars by the time all was said and done," said Reno city councilman Dwight Dortch.

Deputy city attorney Jack Campbell says the city's hands are tied because of the dollars involved.  And he says the irony of this case is not lost on him or anyone at city hall.  The city is now faced with the prospect of making a big payout to an employee the city was trying to fire.

"I think this case frustrates everybody in the community,"  Campbell said.

But a settlement may be the only viable option as the city looks to cut its losses and turn the page on an ugly and costly chapter at the Reno Police Department.

It's important to keep in mind, on top of the $330,000 outlined in the settlement., Evans would also get more than $100,000 in back pay for sick and vacation time.   So the total payout would be closer to $450,000.   And under this deal, Evans stands to earn almost $100,000 a year in state retirement benefits for the rest of his life.

The city council is scheduled to vote on the settlement proposal on Wednesday, September 25th.

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rose1 - 9/28/2013 10:02 PM
0 Votes
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rose1 - 9/28/2013 10:01 PM
0 Votes
????????? I make $87h while I'm? traveling the world. Last week I worked by my laptop in Rome, Monti Carlo and finally Paris. This week I'm back in the USA. All I do are easy tasks from this one cool site. check it out, ?????? MAX47.COM

Dennis3092 - 9/26/2013 12:25 PM
0 Votes
Sounds like the city of Reno has a horrible legal department and Evans has some excellent lawyers and a great union. Who are the morons that agree to these ridiculous contracts?

maggies mom - 9/25/2013 7:35 AM
0 Votes
Why Is Lieutenant Amy Newman not being mentioned in the news about Stegmaier and Evans. She was the one who was the one who was threatened ad harassed for reporting Stegmaier's actions. She is the one who should be rewarded. Instead, the two people who have broke the law are being rewarded for their actions. She gets to continue to work.

Ktkt1955 - 9/24/2013 8:28 PM
0 Votes
The officer should have been dismissed without pay. He is the one who tried to evade the law by spinning tall tales or if you would a very big fish story to stay out of trouble. Anyone who would place the blame on someone else does not take responsibility for his own actions even when he/she has screwed up in some way.

valleymike - 9/24/2013 7:35 AM
2 Votes
One aspect of this case is not receiving much attention. Why does it take the Nevada Supreme Court 3+ years to make a decision if the taped evidence is legal? All of our Court Justices are highly respected and trained in the law. The two sides should submit there briefs and a decision should be made in a short time frame after. Perhaps our Justices need to be paid by the case rather than a salary.

tonysam - 9/24/2013 7:31 AM
0 Votes
What kind of burns me up is the station is trying to incite fake outrage over an insurance settlement, which is what this is, and acting like Evans should never get his pension, which is in fact deferred compensation and which he has earned. We really don't know the truth of the allegations; all we have are allegations made by "insiders" who presumably work for the city and have an agenda. Administrative law is a completely different track of law than civil law, and administrative law is generally a joke. You have inside lawyers working for the city working on the administrative end who handle internal cases, and you have an outside law firm that handles outside cases, such as civil suits. Insurance companies will NOT pay for attorney fees in civil lawsuits and appeals because they can cost hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars.

tonysam - 9/24/2013 7:23 AM
0 Votes
Oh, and if the city of Reno is like WCSD, it will use an OUTSIDE law firm to handle civil cases, which I suspect they do.

tonysam - 9/24/2013 7:22 AM
0 Votes
No. You don't understand. Yes, there are city attorneys--for the ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS. However, you have to have an OUTSIDE attorney for civil suits. If you read this article, it mentions Evans filed a CIVIL suit. The "settlement" is for the civil suit. Evans was NOT actually fired, and the suit was filed to stop it. I am assuming Evans will be leaving the job in lieu of going through a very costly, very long and drawn out, lawsuit. If he is reinstated, we will know about it.

Go Dodgers - 9/23/2013 11:45 PM
0 Votes
ATTN: TONYSAM. The city has 8 attorneys on staff who work in the City of Reno. Meaning they are already being paid a salary by the City. It's not like the city has to hire an attorney to handle this case. These attorneys are employed by the city and they have thier own office in a City of Reno building. Look it up on-line.

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