Clark County Today learns of as many as 60 boxes of Internal Affairs documents provided to Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in 2013-2014

Clark County Today has learned that between 30 and 60 boxes of original Internal Affairs documents were provided to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in 2013 and 2014 that included details of performance issues by current Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Chief Criminal Deputy John Horch.

Prosecuting attorney disputes claims made by former CCSO Sheriff Garry Lucas and former Chief Civil Deputy Erin Nolan that documents were provided; including those detailing performance issues by current Sheriff’s candidate John Horch

Clark County Today has learned that between 30 and 60 boxes of original Internal Affairs documents were provided to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in 2013 and 2014 that included details of performance issues by current Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Chief Criminal Deputy John Horch. 

John Horch
John Horch

Horch is on the ballot for the Nov. 8 general election as a candidate for Clark County sheriff. He is opposing Rey Reynolds, a long-time veteran of the Vancouver Police Department. On Friday (Oct. 28), Clark County Today published a story that included multiple performance issues in Horch’s employee files and performance evaluations. The issues ranged from failing to turn a weapon into property, a suspension for destroying diversity posters at CCSO precincts, a demotion from sergeant to deputy and a history of as many as 12 domestic violence calls during his relationship with his first wife. Those issues were detailed in 53 pages of documents that were acquired through a Public Records Request and provided by Clark County Today along with the story. 

Tony Golik, Clark County prosecuting attorney
Tony Golik, Clark County prosecuting attorney

In the Oct. 28 story, Clark County Today reported that it had provided Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik with the 53 pages of documents from Horch’s employee files and performance evaluations. Golik, who joined the Prosecuting Attorney’s office in 2000 as a deputy prosecutor and became prosecuting attorney in January 2011, confirmed that he reviewed the documents that he was provided by Clark County Today. 

“I have reviewed the documents attached to your email,’’ Golik said in an Oct. 27 phone conversation. Golik also told Clark County Today he had no plans for a further internal review of the documents detailing incidents of Horch’s performance, “I just saw this (information) for the first time. I have no intention of rushing into any possible (review) process.’’

As a result of the Oct. 28 story, Golik was contacted on Monday (Oct. 31) via email by former CCSO Chief Civil Deputy Erin Nolan about the 30-60 boxes of documents she stated were provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in 2013 and 2014. Nolan also told Clark County Today, “I know for sure Horch files were in those boxes.’’

Nolan retired from the CCSO in 2016. She then filed a lawsuit against the county alleging that she experienced gender discrimination and a sexually hostile work environment. In the lawsuit, Nolan claimed that she was placed on leave without explanation and was the subject of an unfounded investigation. The lawsuit was settled out of court. 

The transfer of the documents

Nolan shared with Clark County Today the history of how and why the documents were transferred from the CCSO to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Nolan noted that prior to her tenure as chief civil deputy, no historic review of records held within the Internal Affairs Office of the CCSO had been done, ever. 

Nolan stated that in 2013 Golik spoke at a meeting of multiple law enforcement officials about any sustained allegations, investigations of misconduct, criminal conduct, excessive use of force and any other documented conduct that might fit the guidelines for the Brady List. Nolan stated that Golik requested that departments go through their Internal Affairs files and submit “any and all’’ documents that may include Brady disqualifying conduct to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office for review.   

To ensure fair trials, the Supreme Court of the United States created the Brady doctrine obligating the prosecutor of every case to gather and disclose all information about any individual upon whose testimony they will rely. The Brady List is considered to be the definitive public-facing database of information about police misconduct, public complaints, use-of-force reports and more.

When reached by phone Thursday (Nov. 3) morning, former CCSO Sheriff Garry Lucas confirmed Nolan’s account of the CCSO project and the transfer of the IA files to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

“That is true,’’ Lucas told Clark County Today repeatedly when told of Nolan’s account of the CCSO project and the transfer of the files to Golik’s office. “I can remember that.’’

Nolan informed Golik in Monday’s email that “I am aware that Internal Affairs files maintained by the Sheriff’s Office regarding the conduct of John Horch, and many other Sheriff’s Office employees both current and retired; as well as many former Sheriff’s employees who had since transferred to other law enforcement agencies who were investigated for conduct that appeared to fit the parameters set out in Brady were transferred to your office for review.’’  

Nolan said that after then Sheriff Lucas received advice from deputy prosecuting attorney Bernard Veljacic, a review of all the IA files began. Records Manager Pandora Pierce and Nolan began reviewing every IA file – paper copies that went back to the 1960’s and began either logging them for transfer to county archives those that met criteria for destruction, or retaining those that fit the retention schedules and transferring all that fit either the public records request, the request for production as part of existing litigation, and the transfer for Brady review.  

Nolan stated that over the course of 2013 and 2014, hundreds of investigations were reviewed. A spreadsheet was maintained that indicated which records were to be transferred for destruction, which records were to be retained and which were to be transferred to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.    

Initially, Nolan said the boxes of original IA files were transferred to Veljacic. He would take possession of the boxes each Tuesday following the Sheriff’s Administrative staff meeting and would sign off on the spreadsheet as to which files were transferred. Two copies of the sign off sheets were maintained, one for the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, one for the CCSO. The verbal agreement was that once the original files were reviewed, they would be sent back to the Sheriff’s Office with instructions as to disposition – retention, destruction, etc.  

Nolan maintained the spreadsheet which contained columns of information including the IA or case number, the reason for transfer (harassment, public records request, Brady Review, criminal conduct, domestic violence, or excessive use of force) of the pages and to whom they were transferred. Each page had a signature line for the (deputy) prosecuting attorney to sign and date when they took custody of the files. Nolan said she is also aware the files were maintained electronically and there was a provision in place that if a file was marked for destruction, there is a destruction log that is maintained in accordance with Public Records Law indicating which files were slated for destruction and when. A log was maintained of those electronic files that were slated for destruction. Nolan said she doesn’t recall that any were destroyed at that time.  

The hard copy files that were slated for destruction were logged and transferred to county archives in accordance with long standing public records processes within the county and the CCSO.  

An abrupt end to the process

Nolan stated that at the end of 2014, when Sheriff Lucas, Undersheriff Joe Dunegan and Chief Civil Deputy Mike Evans retired, she was not fully finished with the IA review process. She stated that when Sheriff Chuck Atkins took office, she was immediately “locked out” of the IA files, both electronic and hard copy. She told Chief Criminal Deputy John Chapman that the review was nearly complete and asked to be allowed to complete the project. He declined and told her to transfer all the records to Commander Rusty Warren, which she did. Nolan said she is not aware of what work Commander Warren may have done following that transfer. Nolan did not maintain any copies of the logs or records personally.  

Nolan told Golik in her Oct. 31 email, “I am not aware that any of the files that were transferred to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office were ever transferred back to the Sheriff’s Office. I am not aware that any of the documents were transferred from the Prosecutor’s Office after review to County Archives for destruction. IF ANY of the documents were destroyed, there should be a full record, maintained by County Archives, indicating what date, and by whom the documents were destroyed and under what authority, in accordance with Public Records law.’’  

Golik’s response

When reached by Clark County Today Wednesday (Nov. 2) evening, Golik responded to questions about Nolan’s email by saying, “I don’t know what she is talking about.’’

Golik added, “there was not a request for all disciplinary documents. There was never a request to all law enforcement agencies for all IA documents on officers of all the law enforcement agencies in Clark County. That has never been our Brady policy.’’

In an Oct. 23, 2013 document entitled “Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Brady Policy and Brady Committee Protocol,’’ Golik made the following request in Section IV. “Law enforcement agencies will be asked to provide the Brady Committee with information on sustained findings of misconduct involving officer dishonesty. This includes any sustained findings or violations of a false written or verbal statement.’’

Golik may have been parsing words in response to the specific question asked by Clark County Today Wednesday. However, the question was asked repeatedly in several different forms, always with the same response from Golik.

“I’m not aware of that,’’ Golik said. “There was not a general request for all IA information from all agencies. It didn’t happen, hasn’t happened. I’m also not aware of that information being sent to our office for some other purpose. I’m not aware of that either.

“I’m not familiar with what she is talking about,’’ Golik said. “I’m very familiar with the discussions she’s referring to about Brady information but there was not a decision like she alleges in that email to collect up all IA information on officers. I don’t know what Erin is talking about regarding many boxes of information from IA files. I don’t know what that process is that she is talking about.’’

Golik added that he has no knowledge of the whereabouts of the boxes of documents Nolan and Lucas both confirmed had been provided to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office by the CCSO.

“We have a lot of case file stuff in a whole bunch of boxes, but not any IA stuff,’’ Golik said. “I don’t know what she (Nolan) is referring to in her email about those IA documents.’’

Golik added that he has not responded to Nolan. “I didn’t see it called for a response.’’

Horch performance issues

The documented performance issues involving candidate Horch that Clark County Today published in the Oct. 28 story included the following reports:

  • In 2000, Horch collected a gun into evidence at the scene of a suicide and did not turn the gun into property. When he was confronted about the missing gun, he found it in the trunk of his patrol car.
  • In 2004 that while Horch was going through a divorce, his own testimony was that there had been a history of a dozen or more DV (Domestic Violence) incidents during his relationship with his then wife.
  • As a result of multiple performance issues, on May 27, 2004 Horch received written notice of his demotion from the position of enforcement sergeant and returned to his previous appointment as a deputy sheriff II. 
  • Also in 2004, Horch admitted to removing two diversity posters from walls at two separate CCSO precincts. He was given a two-week suspension for that offense.

Do you believe there should be an investigation into missing Clark County Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs files, at either the CCSO or the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office?*
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Susan
Susan
3 months ago

Too much smoke for me! Where’s there smoke, there’s fire.

For me, Horch is too… worrisome? suspect? muddy? whatever.

The CCSO “good ol’ boys” club needs to be broken up; Horch appears to be one the club’s charter members.

I was voting for Reynolds before this article. Now, I absolutely know that is the right choice.

Vote Reynolds!

Carolyn Price
Carolyn Price
2 months ago
Reply to  Susan

I agree it has the smell of something rotten, however without knowing all of the details it could be just smoke. Not a lot of time for investigation before the vote and this could also be an attempt to throw the vote to Reynolds. The bigger question is why there has not been any challengers to Golik’s job?

Margaret
Margaret
3 months ago

In the Friday report, “Clark County Today has 53 pages of documents that were released through a Public Records Request. Horch offered the full file, which he said was 695 pages.” I still hope CCToday will get the 695 pages offered and make them available to the public.

Meagan
Meagan
3 months ago
Reply to  Margaret

Horch said he shared his employment file with the Columbian in the article linked below. I wonder if he shared it with CCT?

Anna Miller
Anna Miller
3 months ago
Reply to  Meagan

The Columbian will turn on their spin machine, as they often do.

MetaWorld2
MetaWorld2
2 months ago
Reply to  Anna Miller

WHY is it whenever anyone gets to TRUTH, or even close to it, everyone thinks ITS A SPIN? Really?

Carolyn Price
Carolyn Price
2 months ago
Reply to  MetaWorld2

Unless there is “substantiated evidence” that can be shown to the people, the narrative can be spun in any direction and TRUTH will be relative. Half the country believed the Russia-gate hoax purely on insinuations- believing they had the truth, and all the while refusing to consider it was a fabrication.

Margaret
Margaret
3 months ago
Reply to  Margaret

PS. In a campaign mailer from friends of Horch, a title for Horch of “Supervisor – Internal Affairs” is listed, without dates. Another title listed for Horch is “Commander – Elder Justice Center” without dates. The flier is also listed at his campaign website. The Elder Justice Center was established by PA Golik in 2011. The Wall Street Journal wrote an article (linked here), about how elder justice centers can create opportunities for abuse. A case at the Clark County elder justice center is featured as a bad example. The article details how people appointed by the Clark County Courts through the Elder Justice Center to help the elderly are often appointed as “guardians” of the elderly at a high cost , and provide little or no benefit to the elderly person, who may or may not desire or need the assistance.

Last edited 3 months ago by Margaret
MetaWorld2
MetaWorld2
2 months ago
Reply to  Margaret

With 150,000 hrs of caring for the elderly I can vouch for this! SAD but true.
MONEY truly is The Root of All EVIL and corruption.
People who lack in money are willing to do anything to get more!
Abuse by theft of taxpayers always continues. SAD

Wayde
Wayde
3 months ago

The coverup of Horch’s performance issues is getting deeper. Remember that it was the cover up and not the actual Watergate break in that forced Nixon to resign.

Margaret
Margaret
3 months ago
Reply to  Wayde

In the Friday article posted by CCTODAY, Wayde commented,
I did a request in early October and they did respond in 5 days saying the records I requested did not exist… And why would the dept notify Horsch there was a records request? Then his records disappear. This is beyond fishy”
What records did you request in early October? Do any of the records provided CCTODAY fit the description of the records you requested?
Per the Friday Oct 28th CCtoday report, “Clark County Today has 53 pages of documents that were released through a Public Records Request. Horch offered the full file, which he said was 695 pages.”

Meagan
Meagan
3 months ago

Wow. Wow. Wow. That is hinky!

Lew Water
Lew Water
3 months ago

CCT the Madore endorsed wish wrapper is getting desperate. Why not do an evaluation on Erin Nolan and her performance when in the sheriff department. Just like Rey, where is his AI files? Hmm.

Mike Kersey
Mike Kersey
3 months ago
Reply to  Lew Water

Horch never “offered” anyone his IA file. In fact he did everything he could to block people from getting it. Rey has nothing to hide. Fill out a PDR form and you can have his IA file.

Glenn Kincaid
Glenn Kincaid
3 months ago
Reply to  Lew Water

Lew your RINO side is popping right out again. Transparency is the future in this county. We’re going to turn back time. And add social media to the mix.RUN RINO”S RUN. It took awhile but the TRUTH is becoming reality.

Anna Miller
Anna Miller
3 months ago
Reply to  Lew Water

Lew pokes his head up out of the Waters to spew more Madore hate. Old silly grudges never die off with Lew. Never mind that Nolan’s account of the delivery of the boxes was substantiated by former Sheriff Lucas.

Last edited 3 months ago by AnnaM
Glenn Kincaid
Glenn Kincaid
3 months ago

I was assured just a month ago or so. There is no good old boy club. I’m assuring you all there sure is what’s considered “The Good Old Boy’s Club”. It’s existed for over 20 years already. It’s time to clean things up.. Not just here everywhere in Clark County. The time is NOW. PCO 940 LD14 Director.

MICHAEL J.
MICHAEL J.
3 months ago

after seeing all I’ve seen of this mess with John Horch…. he has not been transparent in this whole situation and if he were a Smart man he would Withdraw right now… He needs to quit thinking of only himself and the MONEY, TITLE AND POWER he could have quit being a FAKE, PLEASE DROP OUT OF THIS ELECTION. I Only will Vote for someone with Honesty and Integrity that will take a good look into the happenings and cover-up of the CCSO all theses years and will make the needed changes to make Clark County a Safer place for all that man is REY REYNOLDS.

Last edited 3 months ago by MICHAEL J.
Awoken Patriots
Awoken Patriots
3 months ago

Who is former CCSO Chief Civil Deputy Erin Nolan ? Read her account in the filed lawsuit against the county. What are these guys Hiding?

https://pcdn.columbian.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Erin-Nolan-tort-claim_Redacted.pdf

Last edited 3 months ago by Awoken Patriots
Anna Miller
Anna Miller
3 months ago

Golik may be telling the truth about not remembering the boxes of files. But here is the sticky wicket. Why doesn’t he want to know where they are? It seems like Golik would say, I don’t remember those boxes, but if Lucas says they were delivered, I will look into it and try to find out. When people start “forgetting” and put a period after that forgetting rather than sincerely wanting to get to the bottom of it…red lights flashing. Was this just a case of file box overload or was it something else? There is a reason for an Internal Affairs department. It’s not just there for someone’s job security. Or is it?

MetaWorld2
MetaWorld2
2 months ago

The SWAMP, even in Clark County, runs deep and has since who knows? I have known since 1983!
ONLY soultion is to Vote in a man of INTEGRITY!

VOTE REY REYNOLDS!
I met him early on, and what a refreshing concept, He is honorable, compassionate, REAL!

MetaWorld2
MetaWorld2
2 months ago

WE are in The Moment of Truth people! Its a beautiful thing going on ever since Our Movement began 7 years ago. “WE must NEVER Give up and never give in….” And we all know who has repeated that over and over!

Steve
Steve
2 months ago

Erin Nolan, the deputy that bullied staff on a continual basis. Ask around law enforcement and see what any cops opinion is of this “credible source” Nice hit job Clark County Today for your candidate of choice, Rey.

Ron
Ron
2 months ago

Holy moly, what spectacular timing on this article. Well done!! (that’s sarcasm)

Wayde
Wayde
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

I agree. This should have been revealed to the voters before the primaries. Horsch should never have run with his horrible record. In his arrogance, he figured he could bully whistleblowers and the press into hiding his shady record. He was wrong. The only way to defeat bullies is to stand up to and expose them

Last edited 2 months ago by Wayde
Alan
Alan
2 months ago

Had I known about this discrepancy I would not have voted for Horch.
I looked at both candidates qualifying statements in the official voter pamphlet, and his seemed to be the most complete and accurate at the time. What I really didn’t like about Horch’s statement was his listing for previous FBI training. That was a red flag right off the bat, and I should have listened to my inner self and not voted for this guy. Hopefully there will be an investigation and if he’s proven guilty of cooperating with a cover up then he needs to be removed from office and face legal consequences if he does end up as Sheriff. I feel bad that I voted for Horch now, but I knew nothing about this potential incriminating cover up until just today and I have already voted by mail previously because we don’t have the ability to vote in person on Election Day like it should be. And now they’re trying to sneak in Rank Choice voting which makes everything worse. I hope that does not pass because it’s just a sneaky way of stealing elections by splitting votes when Independents are running against conservatives. This basically makes it a slam dunk for all democratic candidates when the vote is split.🙄

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Alan

You did not make a mistake. This is complete BS propagated by an disgruntled x employee that has it out for Horch, Atkins, and every other employee that helped end her abuse of staff. Go ask ANY cop in Clark County and see what they say about Erin Nolan. It’s actually liable against Horch. We will see if a lawsuit ensues against Clark County Today and Nolan.

Wayde
Wayde
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

This is 100% true about Horsch. And the media colluded to keep his shady history secret. I feared too many people had voted before this came out. If Horsch does manage to sneak in, the public will have 0% confidence in CCSO. And Horsch needs to be investigated. The days of no police accountability are over.

Wayde
Wayde
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Are you trying to bully the press and those who speak out against Horsh? Horch’s bullying attitude is well known. But the public will not stand for this anymore.

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