Ex-UMC executive can’t face new theft trial, Nevada Supreme Court rules

CARSON CITY — Lacy Thomas, the former University Medical Center executive accused of theft and misconduct, cannot be tried again on those charges, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Thomas was charged in 2008 with five counts of theft and five counts of official misconduct after prosecutors claimed his relationships with entities that had contracts with UMC were unfavorable to the public hospital. Thomas was fired in 2007 after an audit found the hospital had lost $34 million, nearly twice the $18.8 million loss that Thomas had told his superiors.

The case ended in a mistrial in 2010 after Thomas’ attorneys discovered hundreds of pages of evidence that the defense had not received from prosecutors. The court’s decision stressed the circumstances of the withheld documents played a part in the ruling.

“All evidence before the district court in this case suggests that the prosecutor intentionally and improperly withheld exculpatory documents,” the high court wrote in its decision. “This conduct was egregious, and caused prejudice to Thomas which could not be cured by means short of a mistrial. Therefore, double jeopardy bars reprosecution of Thomas on all counts.”

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

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