High-profile criminal defense attorney Dominic Gentile has been recommended to serve as the special prosecutor in the criminal case against Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki.
The state attorney general’s recommendation will be forwarded to the state Board of Examiners, which will consider the proposal in mid-August.
Gentile, with the law firm Gordon Silver, is one of the most prominent criminal defense attorneys in Las Vegas. He represented then-state Controller Kathy Augustine during 2004 impeachment hearings and recently defended former Palomino strip club owner Luis Hidalgo Jr. and his son in a murder trial. Gregory Garman, managing partner for Gordon Silver, confirmed today that Gentile and another lawyer with the firm, Erika Turner, were recommended to serve as special prosecutors.
Garman said it’s a bit unusual for Gentile, who has built his reputation as a criminal defense attorney, to serve as a prosecutor. But he Gentile’s skills make him perfect for the job.
“It would be an honor to represent the people of the state of Nevada,” Garman said. Gentile typically charges $610 an hour and Turner charges $475. But Garman said the firm agreed to cap the hourly rate charged by attorneys at $345 an hour. He said the firm agreed that its total bill wouldn’t exceed $415,000.
The attorney general’s office accused Krolicki of misappropriating about $6 million in fees earned by the state’s college savings program by not depositing it in state accounts, as required by law. Krolicki was state treasurer at the time.
The funds have been accounted for and Krolicki isn’t accused of embezzlement. Krolicki was indicted on two counts of misappropriation and falsification of accounts by a public officer and two counts of misappropriation by a treasurer.
His chief-of-staff, Kathy Besser, is charged with two counts being a principal to misappropriation and falsification of accounts and two counts being a principal to misappropriation by a treasurer. Both have maintained their innocence.
District Judge Elissa Cadish disqualified the attorney general’s office from prosecuting Krolicki and Besser because it would create an appearance of impropriety.
The attorney general’s office has filed a request with the Nevada Supreme Court to overturn Cadish’s ruling. The high court hasn’t ruled yet on the request.
Gentile earned a law degree from DePaul University. He is admitted to practice law in Nevada and Illinois.
He is an adjunct professor of law for the Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has taught trial advocacy and trial evidence at various law schools.
Turner holds a law degree from American University, Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. She focuses on commercial litigation for Gordon Silver.
Contact reporter David Kihara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.