Attorney general wrongly targeting Krolicki | NevadaAppeal.com

Attorney general wrongly targeting Krolicki

Chuck Muth
Special to the Nevada Appeal

Here’s what we know: Democrat Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is seeking a grand jury indictment of Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki.

What we don’t know, however, is exactly what Krolicki is going to be accused of, or whether there will be any merit to the charge(s). But here’s something else we know:

This entire matter stinks of the politics of personal destruction. Somebody get Hillary on the phone.

When it comes to seeking criminal charges against someone, the attorney general has two ways to go:

– One is to file a criminal complaint in which a public preliminary hearing is held before a justice of the peace. The accused knows what he’s being charged with and is afforded an opportunity to confront his accusers and present evidence in his defense. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the JP decides whether or not there’s enough evidence to try the accused in district court.

– The second way is to seek a grand jury indictment. In this process, the grand jury meets in secret and the accused has no opportunity to even hear the evidence against him, let alone cross examine his accusers. If the grand jury decides not to issue an actual indictment, the whole thing is kept confidential.

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This was the option Masto elected to pursue against Krolicki. So without even knowing what he “might” be charged with, every newspaper in Nevada this week had Krolicki’s pending indictment splashed across its front page. That caused considerable political damage to a decent family man who less than two weeks ago announced he might consider running against Democrat U.S. Sen. Harry Reid in 2010.

Coincidence? Yeah, right. Remember, it’s not paranoia when they’re really out to get ya.

And even if the grand jury opts not to indict Krolicki ” which would take a miracle since, as the saying goes, prosecutors can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich if they want to ” the fact that the proceeding is kept confidential doesn’t mean it’s harmless. The mere act of seeking the secret indictment could destroy Krolicki’s

political future.

One can’t help but question Masto’s motives in opting for the star chamber route rather than file a traditional criminal complaint. Then again, it’s so much easier to kick the living snot out of an opponent when he’s bound, gagged, and blindfolded, right?

This whole brouhaha appears to be the result of a politically inspired legislative audit of the Nevada College Savings Plan ” a program Krolicki set up and oversaw when he was the state’s treasurer ” conducted in 2007 by a Democrat-controlled committee chaired by the most partisan Democrat member of the Legislature,

Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie.

To give you an idea of exactly what kind of partisan witch hunt Leslie conducted in this matter, consider the fact that she wouldn’t even allow Krolicki to testify before the audit committee. The lieutenant governor was forced to present information about the program and his administration of it during the abbreviated “public comment” period.

Nevertheless, the conclusion of Leslie’s cooked audit and investigation was that Krolicki’s office had properly managed the money and accounted for every dime spent. The bottom line: There wasn’t a dollar missing. And for that he’s being indicted? And this isn’t political? Gimme a break.

In an open letter to Nevadans this week, Krolicki wrote: “I respectfully ask the citizens of Nevada to keep an open mind as the legal process proceeds in the coming weeks and months, and I submit that you will come to view this exercise for what it truly is ” not a prudent prosecution, but a partisan persecution. My resolve to fight this matter shall not waiver, and when this terrible episode is concluded, you will know without doubt that I never betrayed your trust or confidence.”

And when that day arrives, Brian Krolicki will need to contact Ray Donovan to find out where that office is you need to go to to get your reputation back.

– Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy grassroots advocacy organization. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Outreach. He may be reached at chuck@citizenoutreach.com.

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