Don’t Be a Richard! — The Dirty Dozen, Part 2

Scott Nicholas
Vice President

As many of you know, we typically don’t use names in our articles, even though most of you know who we are talking about due to the internal rumor mill.

So for the sake of this article, I will refer to the main person as “Richard.”

Many of you read and responded to my email regarding callback pay and asked why some officers are not seeing the overtime worked at CCDC being added to their retirement accounts when it meets NRS 286.

After doing some research and making many inquiries, I discovered that CCDC overtime was not being paid as callback even though PERS policy, and even CCDC Overtime SOP, specifically says it should be when given less than 12 hours’ notice and if you were hired prior to January 1, 2010. The overtime policy goes on to say “voluntary or requested to return to duty” just the same as the NV PERS policy states.

Once I had the email sent to the membership asking officers to verify that callback overtime was being properly submitted to payroll, I had several officers and sergeants contact me letting me know that a captain, who we will refer to as “Little Richard,” was ordering them to submit the time as simply overtime.

As we often do, I brought the issue to the PPA Executive Board, and it was decided that I would meet with Richard to allow him an opportunity to correct Little Richard’s orders not to pay callback pay and submit as regular overtime.

Steve sent a text to Richard and requested a meeting regarding the policy related to “callback pay.” Steve told Richard, “Perfect! Scott will be there.” Richard decided the following Tuesday would work for him.

The following week, I met Richard in his office and brought the PERS policy with me for reference in case Richard didn’t have a copy.

Richard sat quietly as I explained the research and the concerns of the different people I spoke to regarding the “callback” language. I explained that Little Richard was directing the sergeants not to submit it as callback. Richard said he was not informed by Little Richard that this was an issue. Richard asked to see the policy (he clearly hadn’t seen it prior), so I handed him the page that referenced who was entitled to callback and when.

Richard looked surprised, sat back in his chair and said, “Why now?” I explained that a member had inquired about the policy and that it prompted me to research why it wasn’t being paid. Richard abruptly asked, “Who is it?” Of course, I told him that information was confidential at this time, which he seemed to take offense to. (See “targeted employee.” As you know, we are bound by law not to disclose that information without your approval.)

Richard then started his attack. He said, “I didn’t even know what this meeting was about, and you come into my office and bulldoze this at me, throwing paperwork at me? I was never informed about this!” I was surprised by this outburst. I asked Richard, “Didn’t Steve tell you in his text what it was about?” Richard pulled out his phone and read the text out loud, clearly reading the part about the callback pay. This seemed to throw an unprepared chief into a tailspin.

Richard said, “I had no idea what we were meeting about; you just came in here raising your voice at me and throwing paperwork at me!” I said, “You just read me the text from Steve that says why we are meeting. I haven’t done either of those things.”

Richard then seemed to calm down when I explained that the DSD SOP overtime policy even states the PERS language. Richard said, “What’s the policy number?” He quickly went to his desk and said, “Oh! Here it is! Yup, you’re right, it’s in there.”

I took a second to ponder why Richard was acting like such a Richard. I quietly said, “Chief, can I ask you a question?” He said, “Sure!” I said, “How come when I came in here, you immediately started raising your voice and accusing me that you weren’t notified about the meeting and accusing me of throwing paperwork at you?”

This is when Richard quickly stood up and exploded! He starting yelling and pointing his finger at me while I sat in my chair. He said, “Who do you think you are? I’m a deputy chief! You don’t come in my office and raise your voice at a deputy chief!” I looked at him and said, “I never raised my voice at you or threw paperwork at you.”

Richard went on to close the distance, still pointing his finger at me, yelling, “You are just a corrections officer and I’m a deputy chief, you are nothing!” He repeatedly reminded me of his coveted rank and the fact that I am just a corrections officer. Richard went on to say, “Oh, that’s right, you work for me.” I politely said, “I work for Human Resources.” He said, “That’s right, you’re the VP of nothing!” He then asked me (still yelling), “How many people do you supervise?” Now his finger only inches away from my face. I responded, “That has nothing to do with why I’m here.” He said, “That’s because you are nothing but a corrections officer, and oh, the VP of the PPA! You’re nothing, and I don’t care about your contract. I’m a deputy chief!”

Richard finished his ranting, going on to say, “You can’t keep a relationship, you have no friends and no one likes you.” I asked, “So are we done here?” He yelled, “Get out of my office and get out of my building!”

I got up and left with nothing accomplished, but now realizing what the sergeants and lieutenants had told me about when they were challenged months earlier to go out into the parking garage to settle a work-related issue by the same chief. The supervisors felt even more uncomfortable because Richard was carrying his firearm while he was challenging them. He would have needed it! He’s all talk! He resorted to being a ranked bully, knowing he’d lose his ass in a real fight with any one of them, but using his rank so they couldn’t accept the challenge.

The one thing I did learn from Richard is that he has zero respect for the officer rank, and he made that clear by repeatedly saying, “You are just a corrections officer, you are nothing.” I’m not surprised. This is coming from someone who never spent time on the decks but did test for every desk job he could find so that he could hide from the inmates. Now Richard has the audacity to disrespect the very people who have done the real work all these years, not to mention that he doesn’t care about your CBA or rights to the appropriate amount of retirement owed to all of you.

So, to all of you we represent, we care about you, your safety, your family, your contract, your police officer bill of rights, your collective bargaining bill and your retirement, among other things.

We will not be bullied by an unprepared, uneducated, uncaring and unappreciative chief. Don’t think for a second that his attempts to belittle, berate and physically threaten me by closing the distance will ever make me back down from a fight; it only makes me work harder, research harder, dig deeper and, when necessary, file more lawsuits. Great job, Richard! I’m sure your chain of command will be so proud of you when they must take on the upcoming fight because of your ignorant behavior.