Attorney General turns over documents, tapes in ‘secret probe’ case
The Nevada attorney general’s office complied today with a judge’s order and released about 1,000 pages of documents amassed in a probe of a former key Gaming Control Board staffer imprisoned for an elaborate slot-cheating scam.
The documents had been ordered released by Clark County District Judge James Mahan last month in a related case involving claims that the office expanded the probe to include top casino regulators and not just the former staffer, Ron Harris.
Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa said she didn’t agree with the court order because the documents include names of many innocent people who faced unfounded allegations, and also include names of various informants.
But she said she opted not to file a state Supreme Court appeal in the hope that the 5-inch-high stack of papers and six videotapes should help prove ”the baseless nature” of claims she ran an illegal intelligence probe.
Mike Anzalone, a former attorney general’s investigator, has claimed he was forced to resign because he wouldn’t participate in the probe. Anzalone has filed suit against Del Papa, and Judge Mahan is handling the civil case.
Del Papa said Anzalone lied in claiming that he was told to get banking and phone records of then-GCB Chairman Bill Bible without first getting proper subpoenas, and the documents prove that.
She added that her investigators got what turned out to be unfounded information that Bible had taken bribes, and that was checked out by conducting a limited search of public records on his real estate holdings and vehicle registrations. Records of those searches are included in the released documents.
”The fact is that we performed our statutory responsibility to investigate allegations of criminal conduct committed by state officers in the course of their duties,” Del Papa said.
”We have never in the past and will never ignore allegations of criminal conduct within our jurisdiction simply because the people against whom such allegations are made are too big, or too rich, or too powerful,” she added.
The Las Vegas Sun and KLAS Channel 8 in Las Vegas had pressed for the release of the documents and videotapes. Also, five former casino regulators signed sworn affidavits urging Mahan to unseal the documents.
Topping the list of regulators was Bible, regarded as a political enemy of Del Papa when the probe was launched. He’s now the top lobbyist for the Nevada Resort Association, which represents most major hotel-casinos in the state.
Bible said in his affidavit that he thought Del Papa gathered intelligence on him and his colleagues as part of the criminal investigation of Harris, a former Control Board electronics expert who pleaded guilty to slot cheating in 1996.
After cooperating with the attorney general, Harris got a seven-year prison term for his crimes. He was paroled last September.