Fraudulent Use Of Sick Leave By NDOC Employees
Authored By: Bradley Chapline
Letter To John Ralston
Dear Mr. Ralston,
I appreciate the segments on your show that you have brought forth concerning the Clark County Firefighters and the alleged abuse of their sick leave. However, they are not the only police / fire agency who have practiced these alleged acts of fraud. Again, allegedly, for decades, the Nevada Department of Corrections would appear to be far ahead of any other police / fire agencies in this practice of abusing accumulated sick leave.
In June of 2008 I was preparing to retire as a twenty-one year Peace Officer III from the Nevada Department of Corrections. I was offered permission by both the Associate Warden of Operations and the Operations Lieutenant at the Southern Desert Correctional Center, at Indian Springs, to "burn off" all of my accumulated sick leave prior to the effective date of my retirement. This meant, that most likely, overtime would have to be hired for my vacant position on each day utilized as sick. I refused their offer, citing past and current regulations prohibiting sick leave being used in this manner.
The response from the Associate Warden of Operations was, "It's been done by everybody in the department for years. It's your sick leave. As long as you do not plan on returning back to work for the state. You would then require, after three consecutive days of sick leave, a doctor's return to work order. There is no harm in burning off sick leave when one resigns or retires. This has always been allowed."
I reiterated that this would be against departmental policy and governing regulations should I partake in this. I again, refused the Associate Warden's offer.
I came to realize that although the NDOC was combating daily sick leave abuse from its active employees, many officers resigning / retiring took their accumulated sick leave, or portions thereof, sometimes for months, and did exactly what the Associate Warden of Operations authorized me to do if I so elected. That is, commit fraud against the State of Nevada.
I reported my knowledge of this to a Deputy Attorney General who assured me that she would notify then Assistant Director (NDOC) Greg Cox to have these allegations properly investigated. I have heard nothing, either privately or publicly, on this matter since the time of reporting these allegations.
I don't know whether present NDOC Director Cox has since ceased this practice. However, I would project that there are millions of dollars owed to our state by former officers, and state pensions that need to be adjusted accordingly.
Mr. Ralston, can you assist me in getting this jump-started?
Secondly, can you assist me, Mr. Ralston, with your political contacts, in having a bill drafted for this legislative session that would propose eliminating paid sick leave for Nevada State Corrections Officers?
FYI...there is no collective bargaining agreement between the NDOC and the State of Nevada.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Sincerely, Bradley D. Chapline
Peace Officer III State of Nevada <retired>