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Embezzlement, other charges against ex-Nye County prosecutor dropped

Eight months after he was booked on more than 40 counts including embezzlement, former Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett stood in a North Las Vegas courtroom on Friday and saw the last of those charges dismissed.

The order by North Las Vegas Justice of Peace Stephen Dahl ends a case that began May 5, when Beckett was arrested in Pahrump on allegations he misspent money from a bank account set up to handle restitution payments from people convicted of writing bad checks.

Beckett was never formally charged with embezzlement or any other felonies. In October, the four-term incumbent pleaded no contest to misdemeanor obstruction of a public officer under a deal with the special prosecutor. The agreement called for the charge to be dismissed if he resigned from office and completed an alcohol treatment program.

Beckett stepped down, as promised, on Nov. 1, two months after he was to be replaced by newly elected Nye County District Attorney Brian Kunzi.

Beckett still faces a misdemeanor drunken driving charge stemming from his arrest on Sept. 7, when a deputy found him passed out behind the wheel of a county-owned vehicle in Pahrump .

Special prosecutor Peter S. Christiansen said he would transfer that case back to Nye County to be handled by Kunzi’s office. As Beckett is no longer district attorney, “there’s no real need for Nye County to pay me to prosecute or not prosecute the DUI,” Christiansen told the court.

Beckett also faces possible disciplinary action from the State Bar of Nevada. The state Supreme Court suspended his law license last month pending a review by the bar’s disciplinary council.

After Friday’s hearing, Beckett said he hopes the bar moves quickly to consider reinstating him. “I want to move on and get this behind me,” he said, but declined further comment.

Dahl was assigned to hear Beckett’s case after judges in Pahrump stepped aside because of a possible conflict of interest. He is expected to hear Beckett’s drunken driving case.

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