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Corruption Trial Calls Its Witnesses

Las Vegas- Federal prosecutors called three witnesses Monday as they work to build a case against Dario Herrera [pictured] and Mary Kincaid-Chauncey, alleging the two engaged in political corruption at the public’s expense.

The first witness, Clark County clerk Shirley Paraguirre, testified when Herrera and Kincaid-Chauncey took office as commissioners, they signed what is called “Oath of Office” where they promised to “support, protect and defend” both the U.S. Constitution and the rules and regulations set by Clark County. Prosecutors say both took bribes, breaking the law.

Mary Kincaid-Chauncey, former Clark County commissioner, said, “I’ve always done what was in the best interest of the citizens.” Kincaid-Chauncey again proclaimed her innocence in an interview Monday afternoon.

Neither defense attorney chose to cross-examine Parraguirre.

Prosecutors then called Clark County Chief Administrative Officer Don Burnett, who has attended every county commission meeting since 1999 and says whenever issues involving Galardi’s strip club Jaguars came before the commission, Herrera and Kincaid-Chauncey supported Galardi.

Burnette established for the prosecution that Herrera and Kincaid-Chauncey had significant influence over the issuance of liquor licenses for strip clubs. He also established that there is a procedure in place for commissioners to abstain from acting on a specific agenda item if they have any type of conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest.

Prosecutors infer Galardi’s bribes bought influence. Herrera’s attorney says this proves nothing.

Jerry Bernstein said, “Dario Herrera didn’t do anything out of the ordinary and certainly didn’t try to influence the professional staff, the hundreds of members of the professional staff or anyone else in the county government.” Bernstein says Herrera has a history of supporting strip clubs because of the millions in county tax revenue they generate.

The third witness of the day was Clark County comprehensive planning staffer Levene Aidan-Hoaene, who told the jury Herrera and Kincaid-Chauncey twice supported increases in distance between strip clubs — something Galardi wanted in an effort to decrease competition.

Federal prosecutors are trying to show the jury a pattern, a pattern of Herrera and Kincaid-Chauncey supporting Mike Galardi whenever his issues came up before the county commission. But attorneys for both Herrera and Kincaid-Chauncey say it’s not that their clients supported Galardi, but that they supported strip clubs in general.

All three witnesses testified Monday afternoon that they were never threatened or influenced by either Dario Herrera or Mary Kincaid-Chauncey on issues that involved Mike Galardi.

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