Las Vegas Sun

August 29, 2014

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The Governor:

Ruling lets Mazzeo collect evidence in civil rights lawsuit

Governor’s lawyer wanted evidence gathering delayed

Exhibit photos in Mazzeo case

Chrissy Mazzeo Launch slideshow »

A federal magistrate this morning refused to stop Chrissy Mazzeo's lawyer from collecting evidence in her civil rights lawsuit alleging Gov. Jim Gibbons assaulted her during a latenight encounter outside a Las Vegas restaurant in October 2006.

Following a hearing, U.S. Magistrate Peggy Leen ruled the lawyer, Robert Kossack, could attempt to obtain phone records and police records related to the incident and try to interview potential witnessses while a federal judge considers a defense motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Gibbons' lawyer, Pat Lundvall, had asked Leen to put off the evidence gathering until the motion to dismiss was decided. Lundvall and lawyers for the other defendants, including Sheriff Bill Young and the Metro Police Department, have argued in court papers that the suit should be tossed out because it doesn't state any legitimate federal claims.

Lundvall argued in her papers it would be a waste of everyone's time to collect evidence if the suit ultimately is dismissed.

Leen prohibited Kossack from taking the depositions of Gibbons and the other defendants until the dismissal motion is resolved.

She set a June 2 status check in the case.

Mazzeo, a single mother and former cocktail waitress, contends in the suit that her reputation was smeared and her constitutional rights were violated in a wide-ranging cover-up of the encounter.

A police investigation cleared Gibbons of wrongdoing.

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