#FBI, federal prosecutors, horribly botch #Bundy case – judge declares mistrial

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Prosecutors caught withholding evidence that could have freed the defendants.

If you think President Trump is the only person the criminal enterprise known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation has tried to rip-off you’d be mistaken.

A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, saying U.S. prosecutors willfully withheld critical and “potentially exculpatory” evidence from the defense.

Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed jurors Wednesday, several weeks after the trial began against Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and militia member Ryan Payne, who were accused of leading an armed standoff with federal land agents in 2014.

Navarro cited five key pieces of information that prosecutors did not disclose: records about surveillance and snipers at the Bundy Ranch; unredacted FBI logs about activity at the ranch in the days around the standoff; threat assessments about the Bundys dating to 2012; and internal affairs reports about the BLM.

Navarro methodically laid out her reasoning for about an hour, citing legal standards and case law, before delivering her ruling.

She said the evidence that was withheld could have been favorable to the accused and could have affected the outcome of the case.

Navarro stopped short of dismissing charges against the four men. It is unclear whether the case will be retried because Navarro did not rule whether the mistrial was with or without prejudice.

She has set another hearing for January and has tentatively scheduled a new trial to begin Feb. 26.

Reno Gazette-Journal

Sex crimes rampant at Board of Medical Examiners office

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A Las Vegas investigator with the state Board of Medical Examiners was sexually harassed by her boss and retaliated against by co-workers after complaining to her superiors, according to a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas by investigator Lara Ward, alleges that the sexual harassment was part of a pattern of unprofessional conduct by officials in the state office that investigates complaints against licensed medical practitioners.

The lawsuit alleges that Don Andreas, deputy chief of investigations for the board’s Las Vegas office, sexually harassed Ward in March 2016 after she obtained information from a local law enforcement source in connection with a case, asking if she had performed a sex act in return.

He repeated the comment several weeks later when Ward obtained a second piece of information, and he “began to engage in and encourage and support a pattern of retaliation, disparagement and disparate treatment” after she objected to his comments, according to the lawsuit.

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Sex criminal #RubenKihuen refuses to leave Congress

Screenshot 2017-12-17 at 09.19.04.pngPathetic Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., who has been haunted for two weeks by allegations of sexual harassment, said Saturday that he will not seek re-election in 2018.

Kihuen’s announcement comes a day after the House Ethics Committee was forced to open an investigation looking into the allegations leveled at the 37-year-old freshman congressman by a former campaign aide.

Like the equally pathetic Al Franken, Kihuen reiterated that he had done nothing wrong and said he looked forward to being cleared of any allegations of sexual misconduct.

Democratic leaders, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, had been calling for Kihuen to resign since the initial harassment allegations against him were reported by BuzzFeed News on Dec. 1.

In recent days, a second woman has come forward, according to The Nevada Independent. The second woman, a lobbyist, said Kihuen made multiple unwanted sexual advances toward her while he was a state senator.

National Public Radio

#UFO junkie #HarryReid kept secret program funded for years

Screenshot 2017-12-17 at 08.44.24The Pentagon acknowledged that its long-secret UFO investigation program ended in 2012, when U.S. defense officials shifted attention and funding to other priorities.

But as to whether the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program has continued to investigate UFO sightings since its funding ended five years ago could rank as an unexplained phenomenon.

The New York Times reports that the hush-hush program, tasked with investigating sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, ran from 2007 to 2012 with $22 million in annual funding secretly tucked away in U.S. Defense Department budgets worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Its initial funding came largely at the request of former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat long known for his enthusiasm for space phenomena.

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Bullying incident forces DiMuro out

Screenshot 2017-12-13 at 07.53.51The resignation of Nevada’s chief medical officer in October had nothing to do with the state’s first execution in 11 years, but instead because of alleged bullying by his superior.

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services launched an investigation into allegations made by former Chief Medical Officer Dr. John DiMuro against  the division administrator that were detailed in his resignation letter obtained by the Reno Gazette Journal last week.

DiMuro was overseeing Nevada’s first lethal injection execution in 11 years. That execution is still facing legal challenges revolving around the drugs the state is planning to use to kill inmate Scott Dozier.

In his letter, DiMuro said he resigned because of alleged “demeaning communication, censure and bullying behavior exhibited by the newly appointed Division Administrator Amy Roukie,” according to a copy of DiMuro’s letter of resignation.

In the letter, DiMuro alleged the division administrator created a hostile work place.

Reno Gazette-Journal

Feckless #Elko doctor turns out to be a drug pusher

Screenshot 2017-12-13 at 07.49.45.pngA Elko doctor has become the first in the state to face criminal drug distribution and health care fraud charges under a federal push to stem so-called “pill mill” physicians dispensing large amounts of powerful opioid medications with no legitimate medical purpose, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Devendra Patel, 58, was arrested in Elko and was being transported in custody to Reno, where he was due for a detention hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court, said Trisha Young, spokeswoman for Steven Myhre, the acting U.S. attorney in Las Vegas.

Patel is a cardiologist who also uses the name Devendrakumar Patel. He was the first person charged in Nevada under a U.S. Justice Department effort announced in August that made the state one of 12 with a federal prosecutor focused specifically on opioid fraud and abuse, Myhre said.

Reno Gazette-Journal

Despite raking in millions, Nevada educators continue to fail our kids

Screenshot 2017-12-10 at 08.36.45.pngEducation advocates argue that current funding levels are inadequate to serve this changing and challenging population, let alone all students.

“At the end of the day, no kid is funded at a sufficient level in Nevada for that kid to be able to have an opportunity (for) a successful education,” said Sylvia Lazos, policy director for the education policy organization Educate Nevada Now.

Although recent investments in education have helped, the advocates say they are only a fraction of what’s needed.

Critics respond that the state has pumped millions into education in recent years, targeting specific challenges faced by schools in Clark County. Now, they’re waiting to see academic improvement.

Las Vegas Review-Journal