State worker acquitted on charges of theft
A district court jury has acquitted Randy Potts of charges stemming from a trip he took on state money to a conference that didn’t exist.
Potts, the former chief of security for Nevada’s Department of Information Technology, was charged with theft, embezzlement and falsifying records.
The investigation began after he filed claims seeking $1,757 in reimbursement for expenses incurred attending a homeland security conference on cyber-security issues in Denver. The problem was there was no such conference on the dates he went to Colorado. The conference was actually held in Washington state a year earlier.
When questioned about the expenses, he submitted a two-page memo to DOIT Director Terry Savage citing his attendance at the Colorado Information Management Commission and meetings with Colorado’s Chief Information Security Officer. But the memo didn’t mention anything about the homeland security meeting he used to justify the trip in the first place.
He was fired from his job by then-director Savage.
His jury trial began before Judge Bill Maddox on Monday. The panel got the case about 10 a.m. Wednesday and returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts three hours later.
A statement issued by the attorney general’s office said jurors told prosecutors after the verdict that, “while they felt what Potts did was wrong, they could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that Potts had the requisite criminal intent to commit the crimes charged.”
Prosecutor Erik Levin said there are no plans to appeal.
Potts’ lawyer Andy Boles said Thursday the verdict isn’t the end of the case because Potts is appealing to the state to get his job back.
“He got a verbal reprimand originally, and that’s about what it was worth,” Boles said. “There was no crime.”
He predicted a hearing officer would restore Potts to state employment when the case is heard in June because, “He already received a written reprimand for what he did and it’s double jeopardy to discipline him twice.”
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.
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