State investigator faces discipline in hit and run case

The state-issued vehicle Robert Reasoner allegedly was driving at the time of the incident.

The state-issued vehicle Robert Reasoner allegedly was driving at the time of the incident.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Nevada Transportation Authority agent following a hit and run crash while on duty last month.

According to police reports, at 3:05 p.m. on Jan. 5, Robert Reasoner, 36, allegedly hit a parked Honda CR-V with his state-issued Ford Explorer in the 500 block of John Street.

Reasoner has been a supervisory compliance enforcement investigator with the Nevada Transportation Authority since 2013 and was a compliance enforcement investigator for five years before that.

Witnesses reported to police that Reasoner ran from the scene and appeared to be intoxicated. Deputies found business cards with Reasoner’s contact information on them, two open Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans that were near empty and a citation from a Carson deputy that was issued earlier in the day.

Deputies located Reasoner near the 400 block of Corbett Street over an hour and a half later. Reports said that Reasoner was unstable while walking, appeared to be very pale and was slurring his words. He allegedly told officers that he had taken a drug called Soma when he got to his mother’s, and he blew a .002 on the PBT.

Deputies were unable to arrest Reasoner for possible DUI because of the time it took to locate him and the inability to prove that he was driving the vehicle. An arrest warrant and criminal complaint was filed on Jan. 27 for Reasoner for the charges of hit and run (unoccupied) and open container, both misdemeanor charges, by the Carson City District Attorney’s Office. Reasoner was arrested Monday at the Carson City courthouse.

Bail for Reasoner was set at $1,000 and District Attorney Jason Woodbury said Reasoner had bailed out Tuesday morning.

Reasoner has two reckless driving convictions for Washoe County in 2006 and 2011 as well as a DUI in Sparks in 2016, according to court records.

“I was appalled by the recent information concerning a peace officer within the Nevada Transportation Authority,” said Department of Business and Industry Director Bruce Breslow in a statement issued on Reasoner’s arrest. “It raises multiple serious questions about this latest incident, the alleged past history of the officer and the management of the enforcement division.”

According to its mission statement, the Nevada Transportation Authority administers and enforces state laws pertaining to passenger transportation, household goods movers, storage of household goods, and tow cars. The NTA has been charged with the responsibility of providing fair and impartial regulation, to promote safe, adequate, economical and efficient service, and to foster sound economic conditions in motor transportation.

Breslow has reached out to the Department of Public Safety to conduct an investigation for both this incident and Reasoner’s history to see if policies were followed or even in place pertaining to employees and criminal history, said Teri Williams, public information officer for the Department of Business and Industry.

“Once that investigation is completed I will take whatever actions I can to protect the public and make sure this kind of behavior is never allowed to repeat itself,” Breslow said. “The public deserves more from those we trust to protect us.

“While this investigation is taking place, I have asked not only the NTA but also the Taxicab Authority, to again check the background of their enforcement staff and create procedures for updating that information semi-annually. It is required that a peace officer reports an arrest to his superiors. It is up to those superiors, to act on those incidents and also to periodically check their background and driving records. The Department of Business and Industry will release information concerning the actions taken as a result of this investigation.”

According to the Nevada Department of Administration NAC 284.321, “any applicant who has a record of a criminal conviction as an adult shall so indicate on his or her application. The application must be accompanied by a complete explanation of the conviction. The failure of the applicant to authorize the release of the information which relates to the conviction of a crime is cause for rejection of the applicant.”

Williams said she did not know if Reasoner disclosed his criminal history to the department when he was hired or while employed.

The Department of Administration NAC 284.650 lists “abuse, damage to or waste of public equipment, property or supplies because of inexcusable negligence or willful acts,” “Drug or alcohol abuse,” or “being under the influence of intoxicants, a controlled substance without a medical doctor’s prescription or any other illegally used substance while on duty,” as possible disciplinary action causes.

According to the Department of Administration’s prohibitions and penalties guide, consuming or being under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, drugs or other controlled substances while on duty is punishable with either suspension or dismissal and a conviction is an automatic dismissal. They also state the operating a state vehicle or equipment in an unsafe or negligent manner or that results in an injury to a person, damage to equipment or to the property could be punishable by either an oral warning, written reprimand, suspension, demotion or dismissal or a first offense.

Williams said Reasoner was placed on administrative leave Jan. 6. Pending the DPS investigation, the Nevada Transportation Authority will determine its next steps.


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