Mazzeo names Gibbons in cover-up

LAS VEGAS (AP) " The woman accusing Gov. Jim Gibbons of violating her civil rights is seeking to amend her federal complaint, this time to directly name Gibbons as a participant in a conspiracy to cover up what happened when the two met at a Las Vegas restaurant.

In court papers filed April 10, Chrissy Mazzeo added Gibbons, his attorney Don Campbell and former Sheriff Bill Young to the list of people she claims tried to keep her from talking to police about her run-in with the governor in October 2006.

Mazzeo claims Gibbons, then a U.S. congressman and candidate for the governor, made unwanted sexual advances and assaulted her outside the restaurant.

Gibbons' attorneys filed a response Friday arguing that Mazzeo's complaint presents no evidence of a conspiracy.

"Mazzeo's proposed amendment alleges no facts establishing an agreement or meeting of the minds between Gibbons and any other named defendant to violate Mazzeo's constitutional rights," attorneys Pat Lundvall and Carla Higginbotham wrote.

Prosecutors ultimately decided against charging Gibbons after reviewing the evidence gathered by police.

The previous civil complaint alleged that Gibbons' campaign advisor Sig Rogich and Mazzeo's former friend, Pennie Mossett-Puhek, conspired, through "threats and intimidation," to get her to back off the assault claims in an attempt to derail the criminal investigation.

Mazzeo is now alleging that Gibbons, Campbell and Young conspired with Rogich to persuade Mossett-Puhek and others present during a night of drinking at McCormick & Schmick's restaurant to lie about what took place so as to discredit Mazzeo's version of the events.

All five are defendants in the lawsuit and have denied wrongdoing. Their attorneys have filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the lawsuit doesn't point to any specific conspiratorial acts committed by the defendants.

Mazzeo's filing included an affidavit that details the hours after her encounter with Gibbons. In it, Mazzeo alleges that Mossett-Puhek tried to persuade her to stop pursuing charges against Gibbons and tell police the incident was nothing but a "misunderstanding."

The afternoon after the incident, Mazzeo wrote, she did tell police she no longer wanted to press charges.

Mazzeo attached a transcript of her interview with a detective that shows she never implied the incident was a misunderstanding.


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