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July 28, 2014

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Attorneys now find hope in Bogden’s nomination

Obama’s choice for Nevada office has Reid’s backing, and Senate confirmation is next step

Daniel Bogden

Daniel Bogden

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Daniel Bogden as U.S. attorney for Nevada was met Friday with initial disappointment from defense attorneys and prosecutors who had questioned his leadership abilities.

There was, however, hope that Bogden — a registered nonpartisan who headed the U.S. attorney’s office for more than five years under the Republican Bush administration — will be able to adapt to the policies of a more progressive Democratic White House.

“Many people within the U.S. attorney’s office do not see Bogden’s appointment as the type of ‘change you can believe in’ that Obama promised,” one prosecutor said. “But we’re hoping that Bogden has changed as a result of his experience under the Bush administration and will demonstrate a greater commitment to diversity in hiring and promoting within the office.”

During his previous tenure at the helm, Bogden also had developed a reputation of not being cordial with defense attorneys and the media.

But he loosened up after he was fired by the Bush administration with eight other U.S. attorneys in what some on Capitol Hill called a political purge.

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the majority leader, had recommended Bogden, despite complaints from prominent Democrats who wanted Reid to promote someone within his own party for the plum assignment.

Bogden’s nomination is now about as close to a lock as it can be because it moves to the Senate, which Reid controls, for confirmation.

The nomination also is likely to hasten the departure of current U.S. Attorney Greg Brower, a Republican, who was appointed by the Bush administration last year to succeed Bogden.

The names of Brower and U.S. District Judge Brian Sandoval have been among those mentioned as possible Republican challengers to Reid in 2010.

•••

The Nevada Supreme Court wasn’t exactly swamped with calls from the national media looking to attend Monday morning’s arguments on O.J. Simpson’s bid to be released from prison on bail while he appeals his 2008 armed robbery conviction.

One of his convicted co-defendants, Clarence Stewart, also is seeking bail.

Click to enlarge photo

O.J. Simpson is taken into custody after being found guilty on all 12 charges, including felony kidnapping, armed robbery and conspiracy at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas.

“There has been some interest from the national media, but it hasn’t been overwhelming,” Supreme Court spokesman Bill Gang said.

That means we won’t see many satellite trucks parked outside the Regional Justice Center.

As of late Friday, Michael Sommermeyer, the information officer for District Court, said none of the national networks had contacted him asking for parking spaces.

There are several reasons for this.

Interest in the Simpson case has waned since his conviction, and the media have found a new celebrity case to feed from — the investigation into Michael Jackson’s death.

Simpson, who’s serving a sentence of nine to 33 years in the Nevada prison system, also won’t be on hand Monday, and the high court is doing live Webcasts of the arguments, which means news organizations can follow the arguments from their newsrooms.

Still, there is expected to be a strong media presence, primarily from local news organizations, as a three-judge panel of justices considers the bail questions.

•••

A federal magistrate is allowing Shawn Rice, who authorities think is a leader in a sovereign citizens movement, to defend himself in court against money laundering charges.

The magistrate, Robert Johnston, may come to regret that decision.

Members of the anti-government group have a reputation for flooding the courts with documents. They don’t like to play by the rules.

Johnston this year rejected a dozen documents Rice had filed in the money laundering case without the knowledge of his criminal defense attorney at the time.

After a hearing this week, Johnston released Rice, who purports to be a lawyer and a rabbi, from federal custody. FBI agents had arrested him in the small Arizona town of Paulden for failing to show up at a June 22 hearing before Johnston.

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