Ex-Nye commissioner gets probation in bribery case

A former Nye County commissioner has been sentenced to five years probation for trying to bribe a Pahrump Town Board member.

Peter Liakopoulos was convicted in July of felony bribery and misdemeanor counts of offering a reward for an appointment and graft by a public officer. On Monday, a judge in Pahrump sentenced him to five years probation for the felony charge and three years of probation for each misdemeanor, with the sentences to run at the same time.

District Judge Robert Lane also ordered Liakopoulos to serve 60 days in jail but suspended that part of the sentence pending an appeal of the case to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Authorities accused Liakopoulos of trying to bribe then-Pahrump Town Board Chairwoman Laurayne Murray by promising his support for a sales tax increase if the board named his wife as curator for a local veterans memorial that was being developed.

The Town Board did not appoint his wife to the unpaid job of volunteer curator. When the sales tax issue came before the Nye County Commission in December 2007, Liakopoulos voted against it and the measure failed 3-2.

The Nevada attorney general’s office brought charges against Liakopoulos in June 2008. He resigned from the commission on Dec. 31, 2008, with two years left on his term.

In a statement issued today, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Liakopoulos was sentenced appropriately for “violating the public’s trust.”

Liakopoulos could not be reached for comment. His telephone number in Pahrump has been disconnected.

Under the other conditions of his sentence, Liakopoulos must complete 500 hours of community service, complete an ethics class and reimburse the Nye County Public Defender’s Office $500 for representing him.

He also will have to disclose his convictions to any current or future employer.

Contact reporter Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350.