Extortion charges won't be filed against casino exec

LAS VEGAS - Extortion charges won't be filed against a casino executive in an incident involving a Clark County commissioner, prosecutors said.

Investigators looked at statements made to Commissioner Lance Malone by Station Casinos Executive Vice President Mark Brown, who asked Malone to reconsider his January vote on a controversial southwest Las Vegas casino project.

But any threats were not serious enough to warrant criminal extortion charges, according to a letter received Friday by the state Gaming Control Board.

''As far as our office is concerned this matter is closed,'' District Attorney Stewart Bell said Friday. ''There was no criminal conduct by anybody.''

There were no threats to injure Malone or expose a threat that could harm him, according to the findings of the investigation conducted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Bloxham.

Meanwhile, state regulators continue to conduct an investigation to determine whether Brown's actions violated Nevada's gaming code.

Malone, who faces a November re-election bid, cast the deciding vote Jan. 19 in a 3-1 decision with three abstentions to approve a zoning change that would allow the construction of a Boyd Gaming casino near a neighborhood.

Station Casinos and Brown have been among the leading critics of the vote, arguing that it violated a 1997 state law designed to limit the spread of neighborhood casinos within Clark County.

A state review panel later reversed the zoning change at the urging of neighbors who oppose the $100 million to $200 million gaming complex, placing the project on hold. Boyd Gaming has appealed the review panel decision to District Court.


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