Gibbons won’t be prosecuted | NevadaAppeal.com

Gibbons won’t be prosecuted

KATHLEEN HENNESSEY
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – Nevada Gov.-elect Jim Gibbons will not be prosecuted on allegations that he assaulted a cocktail waitress in a parking garage three weeks before Election Day.

“You may consider the case against Governor-elect Jim Gibbons closed,” Clark County District Attorney David Roger said Wednesday, adding that there was insufficient evidence to prove criminal charges against Gibbons “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

However, Roger said prosecutors would investigate separate allegations made by Chrissy Mazzeo, 32, and her lawyers that people associated with Gibbons tried to interfere with the investigation.

“There are allegations that certain individuals tried to influence Miss Mazzeo’s testimony to police,” Roger said, declining to identify the individuals. “We are going to investigate those allegations.”

“We’re going to go wherever the investigation takes us,” Roger added, but said investigators “do not believe Mr. Gibbons was directly or indirectly involved in this activity.”

Gibbons’ spokesman Brent Boynton said Rogers’ decision came as “no surprise to anyone who knows Jim Gibbons because we have known that he did nothing inappropriate and there was nothing to these allegations all along.”

“He is pleased this matter is finally resolved and justice has been served,” Boynton said.

Mazzeo accused Gibbons, a married, five-term Republican congressman, of pushing her against a wall and propositioning her in a parking garage across the street from a Las Vegas restaurant where the two had been drinking with friends Oct. 13.

Gibbons, 61, denied the account, saying he merely caught Mazzeo when she tripped.

Gibbons beat Democrat Dina Titus in the Nov. 7 election despite the charges.

Mazzeo said Wednesday she did not believe justice was done.

“The only thing I can say is our system sucks,” she told The Associated Press. “I actually even said that if he apologized to me, I would drop everything. And he wasn’t man enough to actually apologize. But he knows the truth and I know the truth.”

Mazzeo’s lawyer, Richard Wright, declined comment.

Mazzeo, Gibbons and Gibbons’ top campaign adviser, Sig Rogich, who was with the congressman just before the alleged incident, were among those interviewed by police.

Investigators also reviewed video surveillance tapes from the garage before determining there was “no evidence to support the charge of battery,” according to a police statement released this month.

An apparently distraught and disoriented Mazzeo made three 911 calls the night of alleged incident, saying she had been assaulted by the congressman.

The next day, shortly after Gibbons was interviewed by police, she chose not to file charges and told investigators she did not want to challenge a powerful politician.

A week later, Mazzeo announced in a news conference that she believed Gibbons’ associates had asked an intermediary to pressure her to drop the matter.

Gibbons denied the allegation. His attorney, Don Campbell, described Mazzeo, a single mother and part-time student, as an “exceedingly troubled young woman.”

Surveillance videotapes from the garage emerged 12 days after police said they were told cameras were not recording during the alleged incident. The video, released to the media by Gibbons’ lawyer, did not appear to show Gibbons or Mazzeo.

Rogich was seen on the tape, according to a police report.

Wright has questioned the authenticity of the tapes and said he was skeptical of the police investigation because its the head of the department, Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, was a Gibbons supporter.