Judge dismisses charges against Lt. Gov. Krolicki

LAS VEGAS - A judge has dismissed charges against Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki and an aide who were accused of misappropriating funds from a college savings program.

Clark County District Court Judge Valerie Adair said in a ruling delivered Monday that the four-count felony indictment alleges that the crimes occurred over five years but doesn't say which funds were used, which transactions were wrong and what duty Krolicki violated.

Adair's ruling said the indictment of Krolicki aide Kathryn Besser was also insufficient.

"This whole thing has been absurd from the very beginning," Krolicki said.

It was not clear whether prosecutors would appeal. Edie Cartwright, a spokeswoman for the Nevada attorney general's office, said the office was reviewing the decision and considering its options.

Defense lawyers have said the same state attorney general's office, which prosecuted Krolicki advised him when he was state treasurer that the way funds were handled was appropriate.

An audit in 2007 found no funds missing from the $3 billion program, but that more was spent on advertising than the Legislature allowed.

The Republican politician's lawyers have accused Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto of a partisan prosecution. Cortez Masto is a Democrat, and Krolicki's hopes of challenging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the 2010 election ended following his indictment one year ago.

Kathryn Besser, Krolicki's chief of staff, said the ruling showed the case to be a "partisan witch hunt."

"I think the attorney general at the very least owes me an apology," Besser said.


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