ELKO — An internal memorandum attached to a motion in a court case against a former Elko County Sheriff’s deputy and current justice of the peace shows that he received a 30-hour work suspension for stalking the then-director of the Jackpot Recreation Center.
The memo, sent from then-Undersheriff Rick Keema to then-deputy Brad Hester on Jan. 26, 2012, outlines a department investigation which found that Hester stalked or harassed former Jackpot Recreation Center Director Richard Pike in late 2011.
Hester is now a Justice of the Peace hearing cases in Jackpot.
The department’s internal affairs investigation found that Hester acted in an “unprofessional manner which can be deemed as conduct unbecoming of an officer by stalking or harassing Richard Eugene Pike,” the memo says.
Hester signed the notice on Jan. 27, 2012, and voluntarily waived his disciplinary hearing rights with an attached page. The memo was attached as an exhibit in the ongoing civil court case that accuses Hester of illegally searching Pike’s office, telling Pike’s boss that he did drugs, and repeatedly stalking Pike and his two sons.
The suit names Hester, Elko County, the Elko County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Jim Pitts, Keema and Deputy Sean Munson.
Another attached page of the confidential investigation submitted by the defense finds that another accusation that Hester stole $500 was not upheld, as the investigator found “inconsistencies” in Pike’s allegations.
The investigator found that on Nov. 12 and 13 Hester was off duty when he drove by Pike’s house multiple times. Hester was doing radar patrol while on duty on another day and may have been in front of Pike’s house during that time, the investigation says.
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The investigator notes that Pike may have misidentified Hester’s unit for another deputy during at least one of the days he noted harassing behavior, according to the document.
Hester has maintained in depositions that he was out of uniform and not on duty the night he searched Hester’s office with two other deputies at the Jackpot Recreation Center without a warrant.
District Judge Al Kacin granted Pike an extended order of protection against Hester in late 2011.
In extending that order, Kacin said that Pike proved Hester stalked and threatened him with a “stop and stare” tactic.
“It is especially disturbing that this conduct occurred after Pike contacted (a deputy) in an effort to provoke an ‘internal affairs’ investigation of Hester,” Kacin said in his decision in 2011. “Hester did exceed his lawful authority as an Elko County Deputy Sheriff in willfully engaging in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel intimidated.”
Hester did not appeal either TPO decision by the courts, said Sherburne M. Macfarlan III, who represented Hester at the time.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Robert C. Jones found in a decision in early March that Kacin’s ruling in the protective orders could be used in Pike’s civil suit without being relitigated.
Multiple motions and appeals are currently pending in the case.