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October 21, 2014

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Supreme Court grants bail for convicted ex-CSN official pending appeal

Attorney: Bob Gilbert to be released soon from state prison while high court considers theft case

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Steve Marcus

Bob Gilbert, the former construction chief at the College of Southern Nevada, is led away by Deputy Marshall T.J. Knickmeyer after sentencing at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Gilbert was found guilty by a Clark County jury in August 2010 on 11 counts of theft.

Gilbert Sentencing

Bob Gilbert, the former construction chief at the College of Southern Nevada, is led away after sentencing at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Launch slideshow »
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CSN official William Gilbert is accused in the theft of college property in the building of this home on Mount Charleston.

William "Bob" Gilbert, a former College of Southern Nevada official who is serving a 12-month prison sentence for stealing building material from the school, is expected to be released soon while his appeal is heard by the Nevada Supreme Court.

"The Supreme Court granted his motion for bail pending appeal," E. Brent Bryson, one of Gilbert's attorneys, said Thursday.

The high court has remanded the matter back to Clark County District Court, where it is expected to go before Judge Donald Mosley "hopefully within the next couple of days," Bryson said.

"It's very rare for the Supreme Court to grant a motion like that," Bryson said. "I'm cautiously optimistic about his probable success rate upon appeal. But you don't want to read too much into an order like this."

Bryson filed a motion today to have a bail hearing set for Gilbert, who initially began serving his sentence at the High Desert State Prison, but was recently transferred to the state minimum custody facility in Warm Springs.

Gilbert was sentenced Feb. 16 by Mosley to a minimum of 12 months on each of 11 counts of theft of materials from CSN, with the terms running concurrently. The former CSN construction chief has already served about five months.

In the high court's order granting a motion for bail, the court wrote, "The appeal does not appear to be frivolous or taken for delay, and there is no indication that Gilbert poses a risk of flight or danger to the community."

The order also said, "Specifically, the district court made no findings as to flight or dangerousness; Gilbert was not remanded to custody until sentencing and made all of his appearances, he was convicted of nonviolent property offenses, and the sentences imposed have short minimum terms. Given the particular facts and circumstances, we grant the motion for bail pending appeal."

The order calls for the district court to set an appropriate amount of bail pending appeal and for imposing any special conditions for Gilbert's release.

Gilbert's case was spurred by a Sun investigation four years ago that he was suspected of using his position as CSN's construction chief to develop an 8,200-square-foot house, a 2,500-square-foot guesthouse, stables and a lighted basketball court on his property of more than four acres in Kyle Canyon.

Gilbert had told the Sun that the allegations of misconduct were spurred by disgruntled employees who didn't like his management decisions. He said he was a tough manager and not everyone liked him.

In August 2010, a Clark County jury found Gilbert guilty on all 11 counts of theft of materials from CSN. The case was prosecuted by the Nevada attorney general’s office.

On Feb. 16, Mosley sentenced Gilbert to a minimum of 12 months in prison for each of 11 counts of theft of materials from CSN, with the terms running concurrently.

Gilbert was also ordered to pay more than $6,000 in restitution and $10,000 in fines.

Throughout his trial and at his sentencing, Gilbert maintained his innocence.

Gilbert’s co-defendants — Matthew Goins, George Casal and Thad Skinner, all of whom worked under him in CSN’s facilities management department — pleaded guilty Aug. 5, 2010, to two gross misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit theft. Each received a sentence that amounts to a year of informal probation.

The same plea agreement was offered to Gilbert, who refused to take it. Throughout his trial and at his sentencing, Gilbert maintained his innocence.

During his trial, Ron Remington, CSN president from 2001 to 2004, told the jury Gilbert had permission to have the building material and equipment on his property and that some college work was done there, including welding.

"Everything I did, I did with the knowledge of the president of the college," Gilbert said at his sentencing.

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  1. If Mr. Gilbert is retried, the pitiful and pathetic district attorney or states attorney should ask the following of Moore, Remington, Carpenter, that dipstick who was the "fundraiser who became president" and any of the others who were "college president" during Bob Gilbert's term of employment:

    1. Did you give Mr. Gilbert permission to take property belonging to the CCSN to his residence on Mt. Charleston and store it there?

    2. If they answer yes, the next question should be, "Why did you not store the equipment on the three acres of vacant land behind the O&M building and south of Gowan Avenue that is used to store other CCSN property?"