Judge: No deposition due yet from Gibbons | NevadaAppeal.com

Judge: No deposition due yet from Gibbons

KEN RITTER
Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) ” Nevada. Gov. Jim Gibbons does not immediately have to provide sworn testimony in a lawsuit brought by a woman accusing him of accosting her outside a Las Vegas restaurant, a federal judge said Tuesday.

U.S. Magistrate Peggy Leen said she would wait to see whether another federal judge dismisses Chrissy Mazzeo’s civil lawsuit before ordering the governor and five co-defendants to submit to questioning.

“I’m not going to make them respond until the pleadings are fleshed out and we know what claims remain,” Leen said at hearing with attorneys for Mazzeo and the five defendants.

No date has been set for a ruling on the defense requests to dismiss the lawsuit.

Mazzeo accuses Gibbons of assaulting her after a night of drinking in October 2006, just before the then-congressman was elected governor. Gibbons has denied her account.

Mazzeo’s civil lawsuit accuses the governor of battery and false imprisonment, and alleges a conspiracy and cover-up by Gibbons, his attorney Don Campbell, his campaign adviser Sig Rogich, former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, and Mazzeo’s former friend, Pennie Mossett-Puhek.

All five defendants have denied wrongdoing. None was required to be in court with their lawyers on Tuesday.

Mazzeo’s attorney, Robert Kossack, told the judge he had a list of 120 possible witnesses to interview and he was still receiving required materials and requested evidence from defendants’ lawyers.

Gibbons’ lawyer, Pat Lundvall, complained that Kossack was “fussing” about pretrial matters with no guarantee the case would go forward.

Outside court, Kossack said he was disappointed Leen denied permission to question the governor about allegations of battery and false imprisonment, if not conspiracy.

“She knocked that down until there’s a ruling on summary judgment,” he said.

Mazzeo claims were investigated by Las Vegas police. Prosecutors decided not to press criminal charges against Gibbons, citing insufficient evidence.