NHP chief and top deputy on administrative leave

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The head of Nevada's Highway Patrol and one of his majors have been placed on administrative leave while allegations of harassment are investigated.

Col. David Hosmer and Maj. Robert Wideman, chief of the Northern Command, were relieved of duty Friday.

Until the issue is resolved, Public Safety Director George Togliatti and Maj. Phil Brown, of the Northern Command, are splitting the duties of running the Highway Patrol.

The investigation centers on comments made either to or about Capt. Jacquelyn Sandage, who was in charge of traffic, commercial and administrative operations for the Northern Command in Reno.

Sandage is an 11-year veteran of the highway patrol who rose through the ranks from trooper to become the division's first female lieutenant and, for the past three years, NHP's first female captain. She was transferred out of the Reno office about a month ago, and is now a captain at the NHP training center.

Hosmer has been head of NHP since September 2001. He has nearly 30 years' experience in law enforcement. His tenure with the state began as an NHP trooper, but he transferred to the Nevada Division of Investigations after three years. He rose to become head of NDI, holding that position five years before being named colonel in charge of NHP.

Wideman has been with the department 28 years in a variety of assignments in Reno, Las Vegas and rural areas, including Fallon. He was also head of Public Safety's records and technology division, which includes the Criminal History Repository. He has been a major reporting directly to Hosmer since 2002.

Togliatti ordered the two placed on administrative leave - which means they are off duty pending the resolution of the issue. They continue to receive their pay.

Public affairs spokeswoman Kim Evans confirmed that Hosmer and Wideman are on administrative leave. She said she wasn't certain whether Sandage's transfer to the training center was related to the investigation.

She said personnel rules prohibit discussing details of the investigation, but that Togliatti intends to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.


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