(Katelynn Richardson) – Former Nevada Department of Corrections Director Charles Daniels has requested nearly $1 million in taxpayer dollars as severance, the governor’s office announced.
Daniels was forced to resign on Sept. 30 after the escape of an inmate from an NDOC facility. Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, who was serving a life sentence for murder, escaped on Sept. 23 and was captured on Sept. 28.
“The Governor’s Office and the State will not have this matter politicized,” Yvanna Cancela, Governor Steve Sisolak’s Chief of Staff, said in a Nov. 4 statement. “Furthermore, the Office will not be intimidated or extorted for opportunistic financial gain.”
During a Friday press conference, Daniels claimed a governor’s office representative had asked him to change the timeline of the escape to match media reporting, which Daniels says he refused to do and reported in a whistleblower complaint, according to 8 News Now.
“I am here today to restore and rehabilitate my good name and reputation, to bring light to the facts concerning my forced resignation by the Office of the Governor and the State of Nevada,” Daniels said during the press conference. “Unfortunately, a false narrative previously communicated by the Governor and his staff enabled egregious statements to be published, statements which have defamed me and eviscerated my faithful and distinguished career at both state and national levels.”
“As you may recall from prior errant reporting, I was accused of not informing law enforcement of the escape of Porfirio Duarte-Herrera,” Daniels continued. “To that end, Governor Sisolak publicly suggested that he had concerns there was a cover up to hide that escape.”
In a letter sent by Daniels’ attorneys to the governor’s office on Oct. 28, Daniels requested the payment be made by Nov. 1 and threatened a press conference to publicly address “reputational harms” if the matter was not resolved by then, according to the document obtained by 8 News Now.
“While Charles acknowledges the $5,000 severance gesture form Governor Sisolak and the State of Nevada, it is a far cry from what is required to fully and fairly compensate Charles for his loss and role as Governor Sisolak’s sacrificial lamb/scapegoat,” the Oct. 28 letter states.
The letter also alleges the governor’s office displayed “discrimination and racial animus” towards Daniels.
The governor’s office said Daniels has not yet filed a legal claim and “seeks to distract from his performance.”
“Despite any attempts by Daniels to distract, shift blame, or rewrite the timeline of events, the truth is under Daniels’ leadership, the Governor’s Office received conflicting and sometimes incorrect information from different sources and was frustrated by the lack of clear communication regarding the escape of a convicted murderer from NDOC,” Cancela’s statement continued.
Cancela said Daniels’ complaint was investigated by “the appropriate agency” but that the findings are “legally confidential.”
“Should any further legal action be taken, we will vigorously defend against those claims,” Cancela said. “There are channels to address Mr. Daniels’ allegations. A political shakedown for more than a million taxpayer dollars is not it.”
Katelynn Richardson | The Center Square