History of The NDPSA – 1989: Tarantino Enters The Picture

In 1989 under the direction of NHPA President Roy Hutchings, the NHPA retained the full time services of the Oregon Law firm of Aitchison, Hoag and Vick who specialized in labor law who in turn hired Wally Tarantino to be the full time attorney for the NHPA
During his time as president, Hutching’s established full time representation for all NHPA members in all internal investigations and disciplinary matters. Hutchings was also the driving force to obtain handheld radios for all troopers, saving overtime compensation for sergeants and removing NHP cadets from the Nevada State Prison eating facilities.
Hutchings is most remembered for his aggressive approach to moving the NHPA toward a true recognized police labor organization. During his term the NHPA sued the state to comply with state law regarding pay parity. Yes, Nevada statutes had a pay parity law.
The law suit was filed in Washoe district court by NHPA attorney Wally Tarantino. In the end Judge Jerry Whitehead ruled in favor of the NHPA. This was a huge victory for Tarantino and the NHPA. The victory however was short lived, because the Whitehead ruling was overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court ruling the word must could also mean may, thereby killing the parity ruling. To insure any further appeals or court action on the state parity provision the 1991 legislature introduced SB 8. What the legislature did was make SB8 retroactive prior to the original pay parity statute thereby basically eliminating the fact the statute ever existed. SB8 drew a great deal of opposition by not only the NHPA, but also from several other legislators, but never less it passed.

It should be noted that during the same session the Lawmakers also appropriated enough money to build the new Nevada Supreme Court Building. There was little doubt the court needed a new building, however for years after, the building was refereed to as the building that was built on the backs of state employees, referring to the pay parity ruling.