Robert Martinez (left), Glenn Rineheimer (center) and Sandra Eddy (right) talk to the media about their resignations on July 31, 2013. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5)
Las Vegas Metro Sheriff Doug Gillespie addresses the media during a press conference in this undated image. (File/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
A fifth civilian member of a board responsible for making recommendations after officer-involved shootings announced his resignation, following a co-chairman and four others' lead.
Robert Le Piere, who also identified himself as a former out-of-state sheriff, confirmed Thursday his resignation from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Use of Force Review Board.
Le Piere followed the board's co-chair Robert Martinez as well as four civilian members in their resignations.
In a letter sent to FOX5, Martinez said he tendered his resignation from the board because he now views the critical incident review process as flawed.
In the letter, which was addressed to Las Vegas Metro Sheriff Doug Gillespie, Martinez cited the recent case of Officer Jacquar Roston.
On Nov. 11, 2012, Roston responded to Hollywood Park after a woman called for help. According to investigators, the woman claimed her ex-boyfriend hit her and damaged her vehicle. They said that when Roston arrived at the park, the woman and her ex were inside a car. They said Roston removed the woman from the car and eventually shot her ex-boyfriend in the leg.
On July 22, Gillespie announced his decision to require Roston to serve a 40-hour suspension and undergo training in order to retain his position in the department.
During an interview with FOX5's Elizabeth Watts, Martinez said that Gillespie's decision was in contrast to the unanimous recommendation by the board to fire Roston.
"The Jacquar Roston board participants were presented with investigative files containing comprehensive background information, employee interviews and other information, and those involved freely, openly and candidly expressed and discussed their impressions and opinions and then made their recommendation," Martinez said in the letter. "With all these facts and opinions as evidence, you decided to set that information aside and render a decision that again supports the employee and ignore the conclusions of members of the civilian population specifically assigned to scrutinize these matters."
Martinez told Watts that Gillespie told the board that his decision to suspend Roston was based on a sincere apology offered by the officer during a pre-termination hearing.
Martinez ended his resignation letter by accusing Gillespie of bowing down to the Police Protective Association, and said it has been an honor and privilege to serve the community as a civilian member of the review board.
PPA Executive Director Chris Collins said the sheriff is allowed to agree, modify or overturn the determination of the board. He said Gillespie followed the recommendations of the pre-termination board.
"I think this is a group of people who didn't understand," Collins said in reference to those resigning.
Martinez told Watts on Wednesday that four other members - Glenn Rineheimer, Sandra Eddy, Jay Shafritz and Miriam Rodriguez - also resigned from the board. The members were part of a rotating list of 18 civilians, assigned four at a time to hear cases.
During an interview with FOX5, Lawrence Gordon, who said he was the man shot by Roston, also voiced his displeasure with Gillespie's decision.
Metro police have not commented about Martinez's resignation.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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