A criminal complaint filed earlier this month by the Nevada Attorney General’s office accused former Sparks fire chief Mark Lawson of multiple felony drug charges involving steroids. In a report published by News 4, former Sparks Fire Chief, Mark Lawson resigned less than a week after being named fire chief once city manager Neil Krutz was tipped off to the charges and asked him to step down. The charges against Lawson were filed four days later.
The initial, felony charges included conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, two charges of possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance and possession with intent to sell a schedule III, IV or V controlled substance with a gang enhancement. According to the Attorney General’s office, the gang enhancement charge was filed in error and has been subsequently removed from the filing.
Now, Lawson is threatening a lawsuit and demanding reinstatement and maintains that he is innocent until proven guilty, according to a letter leaked to The Globe. Lawson further contends that his case will be dismissed. Attorneys for Lawson demand that Lawson return to his role and be placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal case. If he isn’t reinstated, attorneys threatened to file a civil lawsuit in the Second Judicial District Court.
Lawyers with the firm Hutchinson & Steffen claim that Lawson was “condemned, terminated and tried in the public” before criminal charges were filed. “His name had been defamed before he had the opportunity to defend himself. This result is fundamentally unfair” and Lawson’s reputation has been “destroyed.”
The lawyers further accuse Krutz of being “judge, jury and executioner.”
In the letter, Lawson’s lawyers cite five preliminary claims that he will assert through civil action. These claims include: wrongful termination and breach of contract; breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; defamation; false light; and, paid administrative leave.
Lawson is expected to appear before a judge in late January for his arraignment.
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