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The Nevada Independent

Nevada State Police investigating state’s veterans service agency

Two people interviewed by investigators said they discussed the agency’s workplace environment, treatment of staff and management of a nursing home.
Eric Neugeboren
Eric Neugeboren
State Government

The Nevada State Police is investigating the state’s veterans service agency, The Nevada Independent has learned.

A Department of Public Safety spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that there is an active investigation into the Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS), but did not provide any additional information. 

Two people — who said they have spoken with investigators and were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly disclose interview details — told The Indy on Friday that the interviews covered the agency’s workplace environment, the treatment of staff and the leadership of the agency-run nursing home in Southern Nevada. One person was interviewed in mid-February, according to an email obtained by The Indy.

An NDVS spokeswoman said Thursday she was unaware of an investigation.

NDVS, which has about 260 employees when fully staffed, is charged with helping Nevada veterans receive compensation and benefits and transition to civilian life.

The state police’s investigative division is leading the inquiry. The division has oversight into topics such as drug enforcement and major crimes, which can range from homicides and in-custody deaths to administrative investigations.

One of the people interviewed said they were asked about allegations of discrimination of agency employees. The other person said they discussed topics including allegations of timesheet fraud against a top employee at the Southern Nevada Veterans Home in Boulder City — which the veterans services agency oversees — reports of discrimination and allegations that nursing staff had strategically inflated the number of staff present at the time of inspections of the home.

The second person also said they discussed the nursing home’s COVID-19 testing requirements for staff. The Boulder City Review reported in February that a complaint had been filed alleging that a failure to regularly test staff working at the home led to the deaths of three people in 2022, which the agency denied. The complaint was filed by the granddaughter of one of the people who had died.

News of the investigation comes the same week that a new director of the veterans agency was named, and nearly two months after Gov. Joe Lombardo replaced the former director, Fred Wagar. Wagar told The Indy on Friday that he was unaware of any ongoing investigation.

In the past year, several NDVS employees alleged to the governor’s office that top officials were fostering a hostile work environment and mismanaging the Southern Nevada Veterans Home in Boulder City. 

A group of employees also mailed a direct letter to Lombardo but never got a response. Officials in the governor’s office said earlier this year that they had no record of the letter, though shipping documentation shows it was mailed to the Grant Sawyer State Office Building — which houses the governor’s Las Vegas office — last April.


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