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Top PD Official Faces Cover-Up Accusations

Posted: Dec 19, 2011

 A senior criminal investigator for the Division of Public Safety has been put on investigatory leave with pay and the head of the division has been accused of being involved in a cover-up.

This is part of a series of events that now has led to the Navajo Nation Council's Law and Order Committee looking at what is going on within the public safety division.

Robert Platero, a supervisor in the Crownpoint Criminal Investigations Unit, was originally put on a five-day leave on Dec. 7 but police officials said Wednesday that the leave has been extended until after the first of the year.

In a memo to Platero, Harry Sombrero, director of the Criminal Investigations Unit, said that the leave was put in place after Ronald Silversmith, director of Internal Affairs, said that Platero falsified a report.

The report in question centered on allegations that the public safety division's director, John Billison, had pulled out a gun during a poker game in 2009 and threatened one of the players, Patrick Willie, saying that he would kill him. 

A police report was written about the incident and an investigation was begun, according to the memo, by Platero.

The report indicates Herbert Goodluck challenged Willie's allegation by stating "John did not act in such described matter, specifically becoming upset with Pat (Willie), that he (Billison) was cool throughout the entire evening." Read more here.

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