Las Vegas Sun

September 25, 2017

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Court upholds firing of North Las Vegas police officer

The Nevada Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld North Las Vegas' decision to fire police officer Lazario Ruiz for making false statements about his brother's involvement in a robbery case.

The court overturned the decision of District Judge Valorie Vega who had ruled the procedure was faulty in dismissing Ruiz for untruthfulness and unprofessional conduct.

Ruiz was present when his brother Tony confronted Oscar Talamantes, a brother-in-law, over money in August 2009. After the argument, Tony Ruiz ripped two gold chains off the neck of Talamantes and fled. Talamantes reported a robbery to police.

North Las Vegas officials maintained that Officer Ruiz was within 2 feet of the incident, never made a police report or made any effort to stop his brother. He maintained he did not see the encounter.

During the investigation, Ruiz gave four statements that the city said were untruthful.

An arbitrator admitted the four statements in his review of the case and ruled the dismissal was proper.

Judge Vega held that the four statements of Ruiz violated the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights and ruled in favor of the officer to return to his job.

The court ruled that there was substantial evidence to back the decision of the arbitrator and taht Judge Vega abused her discretion in ruling in favor of Ruiz.

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