Incoming Carson City district attorney names Las Vegas attorney as his top assistant | NevadaAppeal.com

Incoming Carson City district attorney names Las Vegas attorney as his top assistant

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Incoming District Attorney Neil Rombardo named a high-ranking state employee from Southern Nevada to work with him when he begins his term in January.

Gerald Gardner, the chief deputy attorney general based in Las Vegas, is expected to start his new job as assistant district attorney for Carson City on Jan. 2.

Gardner, 42, is “one of the best prosecutors in the state of Nevada,” Rombardo said.

He will oversee the criminal prosecution division at the district attorney’s office and serve as advisor to Rombardo on administrative matters.

“I’ve always loved the area,” Gardner said of Carson City. “And it’ll just be a great opportunity to work for Neil (Rombardo) and the DA’s office.”

Gardner was appointed to his current position last year. In 2002, Gardner was named statewide chief of the criminal justice division, overseeing prosecution of fraud, public corruption and prison-gang crimes.

He also served as a member of the attorney general’s legislative team and was instrumental in getting legislation passed to increase punishment for methamphetamine lab operators, Rombardo said.

A native of Maine, Gardner is a 1987 graduate of Kenyon College and 1991 graduate of Cornell Law School. He began with the district attorney’s office in Clark County the same year he earned his law degree. There, he spent six years as a criminal prosecutor and two years in the special victims unit, focusing on child sexual assault and child-abuse homicide cases.

While he has civil and administrative experience, criminal prosecution has been “part of my daily routine for past 15 years,” Gardner said. “I enjoy it and will definitely be carrying a caseload comparable to any deputy DA.”

“It’ll be a great place to live and raise a family,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed living in Las Vegas but was raised in smaller communities.”

He is married and the father of two sons, ages 3 and 5.

His state-employee ranking as a chief deputy attorney general pays $111,383. He compared his upcoming move to the city as financially “lateral.”

Rombardo is coming to his new job, which he starts in January, from a state position, too – as a senior deputy attorney general.

He is looking to bring in other attorneys to replace those who plan to leave: One who focuses on civil matters and the other on child support-juvenile cases, he said.

Outgoing District Attorney Noel Waters has been in the job since 1985 – he was elected five times after being appointed – but didn’t run this year.

Other attorneys expected to leave the office include Michael Suglia, deputy district attorney who ran unsuccessfully against Rombardo; Anne Langer, chief criminal deputy district attorney; and Trina Dahlin, supervising deputy district attorney, Rombardo said.

The office has 28 employees, including support staff, according to the D.A.’s office.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.