Continuing her investigation, NBC 12 News’ Chief Investigative Reporter Wendy Halloran reports that the hammer has come down in a Scottsdale Jail internal affairs investigation. Of course, if you use a hammer against roaches, some are bound to get away. This all stems from Rick Van Galder’s embarrassingly Super Extreme DUI arrest in February and the special treatment he received in jail.
What were the chances Van Galder would wind up serving his sentence in a jail that would treat him like a king? Just how did Van Galder, a now ex-Mesa Police Leuitenant, arrested in Gilbert, get sent to Scottsdale? The answer makes the punishment handed out to Scottsdale jail employees Landrum, Keilich, and Vogel look extremely lopsided. Not overly harsh, just lopsided …
Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell has expressed surprise at the events in his jail. But he was apparently not surprised by Scottsdale Police Commander Bruce Ciolli asking if Van Galder could be assigned to their jail. Ciolli approached an assistant Chief who relayed his request to the Chief. Rodbell OK’d it. It is not known if Rodbell was aware that Ciolli and Van Galder were old friends who had been to police academy together in the 90s, but he certainly knew WHO Van Galder was.
Now think about what is happening here. The fact that a commander CAN request an inmate stay at a particular jail is troubling. There are really only two possible reasons for such a request; to enable either preferential or discriminatory treatment of an inmate. Either way, it’s dirty.
Despite the extreme danger Van Galder had posed to the public (.30 BAC is typically beyond staggering drunk, it’s near pass out drunk) his old buddy Ciolli was going to make sure his stay in jail would be like no other. Ciolli may not have TOLD jail staff to give Van Galder special treatment. He probably did, but he may not have. At the very least, he knew that his staff would give Van Galder the professional courtesy they both felt he ‘deserved’.
So Ciolli clearly orchestrated Van Galder’s trip to The Blue Line Resort. Here’s where the outcome of the internal affairs investigation gets lopsided. Landrum, Keilich, and Vogel are the ones we see in the channel 12 video being chummy with prisoner Van Galder. These are guys who work in the jail for between $60,000 and $70,000 per year. They were each demoted to positions that pay roughly $15,000 less, about a 20% cut. This sounds appropriate. Their actions were deplorable. These guys all know the deaths and injuries that result from drunk driving. Vogel in particular had operated the Intoxilyzer for the DUI Task Force. Their catering to Van Galder is an affront to anyone who wants to see dangerous drunk drivers serve what little time they get in jail.
Meanwhile, Commander Ciolli who made this fiasco possible was suspended for a week without pay. This creep makes over $140,000 a year. His slap on the wrist cost him a little over $2,500, less than .02% of his annual pay. You can bet that Landrum, Keilich, and Vogel will think twice before showing preferential treatment to anyone again. Ciolli may or may not.
And then there’s Chief Rodbell who signed off on Van Galders vacay and the Chief’s assistant. These two got little more than egg on their face. The higher you go …