District Attorney of Clark County (Nevada)

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The Office of the Clark County District Attorney is the legal branch of local government in Clark County, NV. Some of the major cities the District Attorney represents in Clark County include: Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Mesquite and Bolder City. The District Attorney is an elected official who represents Clark County in criminal matters.[1]

The Clark County District Attorney's office is divided into four different divisions: Criminal, Juvenile, Family Support, and Civil. The office employs close to 700 people, consisting of approximately 170 attorneys and more than 500 support staff. [1]

The current Clark County District Attorney is Steven B. Wolfson.[2]

History

Clark County, Nevada was founded in 1909 by Senator William Andrews Clark. Senator Clark established the railroad that connected Los Angeles, CA with Salt Lake City, UT. The railroad often made stops in Las Vegas, NV which was founded in 1905 after Senator Clark purchased land in downtown Las Vegas, NV.[3]

The Clark County District Attorney's office was founded on July 3, 1909. W.R. Thomas, a former judge, was the first appointed Clark County District Attorney.[4]

On January 1, 1910 O.J. Van Pelt was the first ever elected District Attorney to represent the county. He and former law partner, Mr. Frank Stevens, specialized in Corporation and Mining Law.[5]

A.B. Henderson, the 3rd Clark County District Attorney served from 1916-1920.[6]

Harley A. Harmon, the 5th District Attorney was elected in the years: 1920, 1922, 1926, and 1930. He served a total of fourteen years and is regarded as the longest serving Clark County District Attorney. He was a trial lawyer, ran for governor, and was one of the founding fathers of the county. Under his term, the length of total time in office changed from two to four years. Today, there is an elementary school named after him located in Las Vegas.[7]

Roger Foley, Sr. served as Clark County District Attorney from the years 1934-1938. The Foley’s were a very prominent and well known family of law in Las Vegas, NV. Roger T. Foley had five sons, two of which would also later serve as Clark County District Attorney. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School. [8]

Robert E. Jones served as Clark County District Attorney from the years 1946-1950. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1938 and began to practice law in Las Vegas, NV in 1945. [9]

Roger D. Foley, Jr. served as the Clark County District Attorney from the years 1950-1954. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Fransisco Law School. [10]Roger’s younger brother, George Foley, was elected as the Clark County District Attorney in 1958. His term ended in 1960. George was in the Navy for four years during World War II and worked as an aviation radio operator for the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii and Guam. In private practice, he handled family law and criminal defense. He died in 2010.[11]

George Franklin was the Clark County District Attorney from the years 1966-1970, but did not attend law school nor complete college.[12]

Roy Woofter was the Clark County District Attorney from the years 1970-1974 and is regarded as a founding father of Las Vegas who practiced law for over 50 years. He was the driving force behind the bringing in the first minor league baseball team, the Las Vegas Stars. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and Juris Doctorate from Georgetown Law School where he worked under the administrations of former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.[13]

Stewart L. Bell was the Clark County District Attorney from the years 1995-2002. He graduated from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada where he specialized in criminal, business, and domestic law. He later obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles.[14] [15]

David Roger was the 22nd Clark County District Attorney. Mr. Roger obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of Las Vegas, NV and Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law. He was elected in 2002, then re-elected in both 2006 and 2010. As District Attorney, he prosecuted O.J. Simpson who was then convicted for committing armed robbery at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. In the middle of his 2010 term, he resigned from office.[16] [17]

Mary-Anne Miller was appointed as the interim Clark County District Attorney when the previous District Attorney, David Roger, resigned. She was the first woman to ever hold the position. Mary-Anne Miller served as District Attorney for a total of 49 days from January 2012 to February 2012. She obtained her bachelor's degree from Eastern Oregon State College and Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law. [18] [19]

Steven B. Wolfson was appointed in 2012 as the 24th Clark County District Attorney. Mr. Wolfson was selected by the Clark County Board of County Commissioners to serve as District Attorney for the remaining three years of David Rogers’ term. In November 2014, he was then elected into the position and started his first 4-year term in January of 2015. He was then re-elected in 2018 and began his second full, four year term in January of 2019. He obtained his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from San Diego State University and a Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Boyd Law School.[20]

Clark County Court House

The former Clark County Courthouse was built in 1914 and was located next to the Golden Nugget Hotel on the southeast corner of Second and Carson. The architectural design of this building was constructed by the Nevada architect, Frederick J. DeLongchamps.[21] In 1958, a new Clark County Court Courthouse was designed by local architects, Walter Zick and Harris Sharp. The original structure was located next to the newly built courthouse, but was shortly torn down after. In 2009, the current Clark County Courthouse was constructed and is known as the Regional Justice Center, “RJC.” The RJC houses four different court systems: District, Justice, Municipal, Supreme Courts and a future Appellate Court as well as the offices of several attorneys and support staff.[21][22]

Office structure

The Clark County District Attorney's Office is composed of four different divisions: Criminal, Family Support, Civil, and Juvenile.

1. Criminal Division

The Criminal Division of the Clark County District Attorney's Office is responsible for the prosecution of felony cases within Clark County, NV and misdemeanor cases within unincorporated Clark County, NV. The mission of the Criminal Division is to hold criminals accountable for their actions while ensuring the rights of victims are exercised correctly. In the courtroom, they provide legal representation for the community. The Criminal Division is organized into general litigation teams and speciality litigation teams.

The general litigation teams deal with the prosecution of felony and misdemeanor cases not handled by speciality teams. They are typically assigned to cover specific courtrooms instead of specific cases.

The speciality litigation teams consist of:

  • Support Services Unit: This unit focuses on reviewing all cases submitted for prosecution.
  • Major Violators Unit: This unit focuses on homicide cases, gun crimes and gangs.
  • HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area)
  • Financial Integrity/Elder Abuse Unit: This unit focuses on fraud and forfeitures.
  • Special Victims Unit: This unit focuses on sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence and vehicular crimes (i.e. DUI).
  • Criminal Appeals Unit: This unit focuses on preparing all pleadings filed with the Nevada Supreme Court.[23]

2. Family Support Division

The Family Support Division (DAFS) enforces court ordered child support. The job of the family support division is to locate parents, establish paternity, enforce child support and understand child support issues. [24]

3. Civil Division

The Civil Division is responsible for providing the defense of all civil cases brought against the County and against former officers and employees in civil actions. The Civil Division is accountable for prosecuting the recovery of debts previously given to the County and all other civil actions by the County. They give legal opinions to all County, township, and district officers in correspondence with their administrative office and duties. Their role in attending meetings of the Board of County Commissioners serves to provide certain opinions on legal questions and to oppose claims that are regarded as unjust.[25]

4. Juvenile Division

The Juvenile Division is headed by an Assistant District Attorney and the Chief Deputy District Attorney with two teams who specialize in Delinquency and Child Welfare.

The Juvenile Division aspires to decrease juvenile crime, the prevalence of child abuse, and child neglect while promoting leadership and personal development. In court, their responsibilities consist of prosecuting frequent offenders and those who victimize children as well as crimes committed by children under the age of eighteen.[26]

Landmark cases/celebrity cases

Template:Laundry list

Landmark Cases

Year Apellant(s) Respondent Outcome
2003 Richard Bennett Tabish and Sandra Renee Murphy The State of Nevada Richard Tabish and Sandra Murphy were convicted and found guilty of first degree murder of former casino mogul, Lonnie Theodore “Ted” Binion, conspiracy to commit murder and robbery, and robbery of Binion's numerous types of currency located in his Las Vegas home. David Roger was the Distict Attorney who prosecuted Mr. Tabish and Ms. Murphy.[27]
2005 Timmy J. Weber The State of Nevada Timmy J. Weber “T.J.” was arrested in April of 2002 and charged with 17 felony counts, including murder with the use of a deadly weapon, sexual assault, rape, use of a minor in producing pornography, burglary, and first degree kidnapping. T.J. Weber lived in Las Vegas and had a long term girlfriend named Kim. Kim had three young children who Weber became affiliated with. He was subjected to ongoing sexual assault with Kim’s youngest child and only daughter. On April 4, 2002 he was convicted of the murder of Kim and one of her sons. On the day of Kim’s funeral, he attempted to kill her other son and another person. He was arrested two weeks later and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In 2010, the Nevada Supreme Court had rejected Mr. Weber's latest appeal for review of the death sentence. Christopher J. Lalli, a current Assistant District Attorney had worked on this case.[28][29] [30]
2007-2008 Orenthal James Simpson The State of Nevada On September 13, 2007 a group of men guided by Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson broke into the hotel room of a sports memorabilia dealer at the Palace State Hotel and Casino. The sports dealer was held at gunpoint as the group of men stole the memorabilia O.J. Simpson believed was previously stolen from him. O.J. Simpson was convicted and found guilty on all 12 counts against him including robbery, burglary, conspiracy, kidnapping with a deadly weapon, and assault. This conviction occurred exactly 13 years after he was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison on December 5, 2008 with the possibility of parole in 9 years. On July 20, 2017 he was granted parole and was freed in October. David Roger was the District Attorney who prosecuted O.J. Simpson.[31][32]

Celebrity Cases

Year Defendant Outcome
2010 Bruno Mars On September 19, 2010 Bruno Mars was arrested at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV after a bathroom attendant told security he saw someone with a bag of white powder. Police then approached Bruno Mars where he then took 2.6 grams of cocaine out of his jeans pocket. The Clark County District Attorney at the time, David Roger, told officials Mr. Mars accepted a plea deal instead of facing time in jail. Mr. Mars had to pay a $2,000 fine, finish 200 hours of community service, go to drug counseling, and remain on probation for a year.[33]
2012 Floyd Mayweather On June 1, 2012 Floyd Mayweather was arrested for domestic violence charges in Las Vegas, NV against ex-girlfriend and mother of their two children. The assault occurred in 2010. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but was released 30 days early for good behavior and work time.[34]

List of district attorneys

No. District Attorney Dates in Office
1 W.R. Thomas Appointed in 1909 [4]
2 O.J. Van Pelt First Elected DA from 1910-? [5]
3 ? ?
4 A.B. Henderson 1916-1920 [6]
5 Harley A. Harmon 1920-1934 [7]
6 Roger Foley, Sr. 1934-1938 [8]
7 Roland H. Wiley 1938-1942[35]
8 V. Gray Gubler 1942-1946[36]
9 Robert E. Jones 1946-1950 [9]
10 Roger D. Foley, Jr. 1950-1954[37]
11 George M. Dickerson 1954-1958[38]
12 George Foley 1958-1959 [11]
13 Jack Cherry Fall 1959[39]
14 John Mendoza 1960-1962[40]
15 Edward "Ted" Marshall 1962-1966[41]
16 George Franklin 1966-1970 [12]
17 Roy Woofter 1970-1974 [13]
18 George Holt 1974-1978[42]
19 Bob Miller 1978-1986[43]
20 Rex Bell 1986-1994[44]
21 Stewart L. Bell 1995-2002 [14]
22 David Roger 2003-2012 [16]
23 Mary-Anne Miller January of 2012 to February of 2012 [18]
24 Steven B. Wolfson 2012-Present [20]

External relationships

Hope for Prisoners

  • Hope for Prisoners is a nonprofit organization that has been located in Las Vegas, NV since 2009. This organization strives to equip men, women, and young adults exiting the judicial system with the skills and services necessary for the reintegration of every day life into society. In 2012, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) partnered with Hope for Prisoners. In 2019, Hope for Prisoners unanimously elected current District Attorney Steven B. Wolfson to serve on the Board of Directors.[45] [46]

Prosecutors Against Gun Violence

  • Prosecutors Against Gun Violence is a non-partisan group of prosecutors who gather to discuss gun violence prevention strategies as well as advocate for improved enforcement of laws. In early October of 2019, The Prosecutors Against Gun Violence Summit was held in Las Vegas, NV. Current District Attorney, Steven B. Wolfson, spoke at the summit as well as District Attorney's from all over the country. [47][48]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "About Us". www.clarkcountynv.gov. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  2. Siracusa, Sabrina. "District Attorney Steve Wolfson". Vegaslegal Magazine. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  3. "About Clark County". www.clarkcountynv.gov. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Clark County NV Archives Obituaries.....THOMAS, William R. January 21 1920".
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Las Vegas Age". UNLV Digital Collections. X (45): 1-4. 1914-11-07. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Las Vegas Age". UNLV Digital Libraries. XIII (6): 2. 1917-02-10. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  7. 7.0 7.1 O'callaghan, Tim (2009-01-09). "One Man's View: Clark County District Attorney commissions centennial seal". One Man's View. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Roger T. Foley". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Robert Jones". Las Vegas Review Journal. 2006-02-07.
  10. "Foley, Roger D." FJC. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Koch, Ed (2010-09-28). "Former county DA George Foley Sr. made Nevada 'a better place' - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". lasvegassun.com. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Commissioner Franklin" (PDF).
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Roy Woofter, 'a founding father of Las Vegas,' dies". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Stewart Bell". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  15. "Retired District Court Judge Stewart Bell". Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "About David | Welcome to DavidRoger.com". Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  17. "David Roger". Las Vegas Police Protective Association. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Interim chief to replace district attorney". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2011-12-28. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  19. "DA Civil Division". Clark County, NV. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Steven Wolfson Biography". www.clarkcountynv.gov. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Clark County Courthouse | ONE". www.onlinenevada.org. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  22. "Regional Justice Center". www.clarkcountynv.gov. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  23. "DA Criminal Division". www.clarkcountynv.gov. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  24. chi. "Family Division". Eighth Judicial District Court. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  25. "DA Civil Division". www.clarkcountynv.gov. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  26. "DA Juvenile Division". www.clarkcountynv.gov. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  27. "Tabish v. State". Justia Law. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  28. "DA Criminal Division". Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  29. Ryan, Cy (2010-07-24). "Court rejects appeal of man who killed girlfriend and her son - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". lasvegassun.com. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  30. "Timmy TJ Weber Nevada Death Row". My Crime Library. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  31. "NV v. Simpson: The Vegas Robbery Case". Court TV. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  32. "O. J. Simpson robbery case", Wikipedia, 2020-05-23, retrieved 2020-06-22
  33. Michaels, Sean. "Bruno Mars takes plea deal in cocaine case". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  34. "Mayweather released from jail after 2 months". ESPN.com. 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  35. McCracken, Bob. "One man's vision reduced to ruins". Pahrump Valley Times. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  36. "State Bar Past Presidents". State Bar of Nevada. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  37. "Roger Foley". Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  38. Smith, John L. ""Gentleman George" Dickerson leaves an ethical legacy in Nevada". The Nevada Independent. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  39. "Jack Cherry". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  40. "Judge John F. Mendoza". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2011-11-11. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  41. "Edward Marshall". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  42. Gamblin in America (Volume 14 ed.). 1976. p. 348. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  43. "Gov. Bob Miller". NGA. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  44. "Rex A. Bell, Jr". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  45. "Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson to Join Hope for Prisoners Board of Directors". Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  46. "Hope for Prisoners". Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  47. "Prosecutors Against Gun Violence". PAGV. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  48. "Prosecutors against gun violence hold summit in Las Vegas". 8 News Now Las Vegas. Retrieved 2020-07-19.

External links

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