LSP Investigates Troopers’ Side Trips To Las Vegas, Grand Canyon
State Police has launched an investigation into the spending of four troopers who made stops at the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas while on their way to a training conference in San Diego.
The story was first reported by the Advocate. State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson says this is an unfortunate incident that never should have happened.
“The trip itself was approved. As far as moving the vehicle around the country for different events, that’s something that we have done, but certainly those side trips and claiming that amount of time is not something that should have taken place,” Edmonson said.
While most troopers who attended the conference flew, Major Derrell Williams, Lt. Rodney Hyatt, Master Trooper Thurman Miller, and Trooper Alexander Nezgodinsky drove an LSP SUV. The Advocate’s report finds the stop at the Grand Canyon cost more than $700, and a night at the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas cost over $500. Edmondson says these troopers have some explaining to do.
“They’ve got to explain their actions. We’ve got to apply them towards policy and procedure. We’ll take the appropriate actions. That I can assure you, and if disciplinary action is needed, we’ll certainly take that route also,” Edmonson said.
The scenic route also added 300 miles to the journey. According to the Advocate’s report, the troopers were also paid for overtime while on the trip. Edmonson says Maj. Williams is the head of internal affairs at LSP, which means the former head will lead this investigation. He says in the meantime, officials are making sure troopers play it by the book.
“The policy is there. It should be followed. It wasn’t completely followed in this particular incident, and these individuals have to explain their actions, and they’ll be held accountable for it,” Edmonson said.