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April 19, 2014

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Warrant issued for ballplayer Shawn Chacon over gambling markers

Onetime All-Star accused of failing to pay Caesars Palace $150,000

Image

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Shawn Chacon pitches for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 3, 2006, in Pittsburgh.

Authorities now have an arrest warrant for former major league pitcher Shawn Chacon as a result of his alleged failure to pay Caesars Palace $150,000 in gambling markers.

The 31-year-old Chacon — a onetime All-Star whose up-and-down career as a big league pitcher ended abruptly last year following a physical confrontation with the general manager of the Houston Astros — is facing a felony charge of passing three bad $50,000 checks in March, according to a copy of a criminal complaint obtained by the Sun.

The district attorney’s bad check unit is seeking a total of $165,125 in bail on the charge. That covers the $150,000 Chacon allegedly owes Caesars Palace, as well as additional processing fees he now owes the bad check unit for the cost of prosecuting the case.

Gambling debts are prosecuted as bad checks in Nevada.

Chacon, who could not be reached for comment, has played with several major league teams since 2001, including the Colorado Rockies, where, as a starting pitcher, he was an All-Star in 2003. He also played for the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates.

On June 26, 2008, Chacon was released by the Astros after he allegedly grabbed General Manager Ed Wade by the neck and threw him down in the team’s dining room. Chacon played this year in the Oakland Athletics’ minor league organization.

Chacon lists his home as Greeley, Colo., where he starred playing high school baseball.

Gary Thompson, a spokesman for Harrah’s Entertainment, which owns Caesars Palace, said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo has been assigned the case.

•••

A well-known reputed tagger has been charged in the ongoing graffiti investigation at the Regional Justice Center.

Carlos Perez, 23, is facing one gross misdemeanor count alleging he defaced mirrors and doors in bathrooms at the $185 million courthouse.

The men’s bathroom on the first-floor lobby has taken the brunt of the graffiti attacks over the past year, wracking up thousands of dollars in damage. It’s a mess.

According a police report, courthouse marshals identified monikers used by Perez in the first and second floor men’s bathrooms.

Perez, who was in the Clark County Detention Center on other unrelated charges, was interviewed by a deputy marshal and later rebooked on the graffiti charge after jail officials found gang photos and memorabilia with the same monikers at his holding area.

A total of $3,623 in damage has been linked to Perez so far, the police report says.

Overall, courthouse officials estimated that there is about $25,000 worth of damage in several bathrooms.

•••

It was “do not pass go” for a former Boulder City councilwoman who showed up drunk at a court hearing related to her 2007 drunken driving arrest.

Karla Burton

With her attorneys Jack Howard and John Watkins, right, at her side, former Boulder City Councilwoman Karla Burton blows a .115 blood-alcohol content during her court-mandated breathalyzer test. Burton appeared before Justice of the Peace Nancy Oesterle on Tuesday afternoon in connection with her arrest Feb. 6, 2007, on a felony drunken driving charge. Launch slideshow »

The hearing was supposed to be the start of a yearlong program under which Karla Burton could have avoided incarceration. Instead, Justice of the Peace Nancy Oesterle sent Burton straight to jail Tuesday after Burton’s in-court Breathalyzer test showed her blood-alcohol level was 0.115.

Oesterle ordered Burton to serve 25 days behind bars and return to court Oct. 27.

Burton had pleaded guilty Sept. 16 to driving under the influence and had been given a first offender break of going through the DUI Specialty Court instead of getting harsher punishment. Tuesday was her first appearance in the DUI Specialty Court.

In addition to the initial jail time, Oesterle gave Burton a six-month suspended sentence. If the former councilwoman fails to complete the yearlong DUI Specialty Court program, she will have to serve the entire six-month jail sentence, Oesterle said.

Burton’s case had been delayed five times since her arrest Feb. 6, 2007, at a gas station on Nevada Highway in Boulder City. Her blood-alcohol level then was 0.274, more than three times the legal limit. She was a councilwoman at the time of her arrest but lost her reelection bid four months later.

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