Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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Former commissioners found guilty in corruption trial

Former Clark County Commissioners Dario Herrera and Mary Kincaid-Chauncey were found guilty Friday afternoon on most counts facing them in Southern Nevada's most highly publicized political corruption trial in 20 years.

Both were found guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion tied to charges that they accepted cash bribes and other services from former strip club owner Michael Galardi of Las Vegas. The former officials each face up to 45 years in prison.

The jury of six men and six women heard 28 days of testimony and deliberated about 16 hours before reaching the decision.

The U.S. District Court trial in Las Vegas was the culmination of an FBI probe of events that prosecutors alleged occurred between 1999 and 2002. The case, built heavily on the use of telephone wiretaps, centered on allegations that Herrera, 32, and Kincaid-Chauncey, 67, were bribed in return for votes intended to help Galardi's strip clubs.

Another former county commissioner, Lance Malone, is scheduled to go on trial in August to face charges that he participated in the bribery scheme as Galardi's bagman.

Herrera was a rising star in the Nevada Democratic Party, serving in the state Assembly before winning a seat on the county commission. He lost a bid for Congress in 2002, however, and his political fortunes quickly dissipated after the FBI probe went public in May 2003.

Kincaid-Chauncey, a grandmother and flower shop owner, allegedly received $85,000 from Galardi, according to his testimony. Galardi, who pleaded guilty to a single count of racketeering and agreed to cooperate with the government, testified that he paid Herrera $200,000 and provided sexual favors from strippers employed by him. <

Kincaid-Chauncey and her lawyer, Richard Wright, said they will appeal.

"It doesn't change the truth. I told the truth, that's all I can do," said Kincaid-Chauncey, as her eyes reddened outside the courtroom. "Obviously, they didn't believe it."

Herrera declined to comment, as he walked from the courtroom holding his wife Emily's hand. His lawyer, Jerry Bernstein, said, "We're disappointed and we intend to appeal the verdict."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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