Deputy attorney general says he’s running for district attorney |

Deputy attorney general says he’s running for district attorney

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Neil Rombardo, a senior deputy attorney general for the State of Nevada, announces his bid for the Carson City District Attorney's office on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Neil Rombardo announced Tuesday he will run for district attorney of Carson City.

“I hope (today’s) the day we change law enforcement in Carson City for good,” said Rombardo, 33, to a group of supporters on the steps of City Hall. “The current DA’s office is failing to get the job done.”

Rombardo said his main focus is to reduce the crime rate in Carson City by being tougher on criminals.

“I think the current administration has grown complacent,” he said.

He outlined three steps his administration would take toward crime reduction: Forging a stronger bond with the Carson City deputy sheriffs, implementing vertical prosecution, which means one prosecutor will handle a case from inception to sentencing, and making strides toward winning “the war on drugs.”

He said his plan for the latter is the absolute prevention of drug use, rehabilitation of drug abusers and zero tolerance of manufacturers, sellers, dealers and traffickers.

“If you want to bring your junk into Carson City, we are going to prosecute,” he said.

Rombardo went on to say he would also create a position of victim’s advocate within the office.

A 1998 graduate of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University, Rombardo grew up in Orange County and moved to Carson City in 1998.

He served from December 1998 to July 1999 as a deputy attorney in the Reno City Attorney’s Office and from July 1999 to April 2002 as a civil deputy district attorney in Carson City under District Attorney Noel Waters while simultaneously working as a part-time associate professor at Western Nevada Community College.

Rombardo said he, his wife, Jackie, and two children, ages, 6 and 4, moved to Santa Ana, Calif., in 2002. There he worked for five months in the Santa Ana City Attorney’s Office.

“My wife and I realized as soon as we left (Nevada) it was a mistake.”

In August 2002, he became a senior deputy attorney general in Las Vegas. He served there until 2004.

Currently, Rombardo is tasked with managing the prosecution of open meeting law and public integrity crimes for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office in Carson City.

Though he admits he’s never tried a criminal case before a jury, Rombardo said that does not reflect on his accomplishments.

“I’ve done dozens of misdemeanor trials in the justice courts as well as preliminary hearings and probably six to 10 grand juries,” he said.

Passionate about his decision, Rombardo’s voice broke Wednesday when he made his final statement to the crowd.

“I am very proud to announce I am running for DA.”

Waters, who has been in office since 1985, has not made a formal announcement of his intent to seek re-election, but said Tuesday he plans to run again.

He was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Primary elections are in August. The general election is in November.

— Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.