DA drops charges in Meridian case

The Clark County District Attorney's Office has dropped misdemeanor charges against the American Invsco employee named in connection with the now-halted hotel operation at the upscale Meridian condominium property near the Strip.

One charge was for a zoning violation connected with running a commercial venture at a residential site, the other was for running a hotel without the appropriate business license.

The district attorney dropped the charges, county spokeswoman Stacey Welling said, because "there was no further issue to resolve" after the property paid the room taxes it owed for illicit overnight rentals during a 12-month period that ended in midsummer, and after Meridian by Executive Locations dropped its application for a business license to run a hotel.

The employee, Rebekah DeSmet, had been charged with two misdemeanors in July and her bench trial in Justice Court before Melissa Saragosa had been set for today.

"The goal with a misdemeanor, especially on the first offense, is to get compliance (with laws) and restitution for the victim," Welling said. A company affiliated with the Meridian paid the county $598,000 in early October for back room taxes, and associated costs and penalties.

Becky Pintar, DeSmet's attorney, said that another reason for the dismissal of charges was that DeSmet works for American Invsco -- the Chicago-based company that bought and converted the Meridian from apartments to condos -- not Executive Locations, which had run the hotel operation, at 250 E. Flamingo Road.

Contact reporter Joan Whitely at jwhitely@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0268.