Herrera lands job out of jail

Former Clark County Commissioner Dario Herrera wasted no time finding a job after his release from prison.

Herrera walked out of a federal prison camp in Florence, Colo., on June 17 and began working for a Las Vegas printing company five days later.

"He came to us, and he was noticeably humbled by the experience that he went through," said Justin Weniger, co-owner of Wendoh Media Companies.

Weniger said he hired Herrera, a former customer, as a senior account executive for Environmental Ink, one of Wendoh’s five companies.

News of Herrera’s employment began circulating Tuesday after he sent a letter soliciting business to "Friends of the Latin Chamber of Commerce."

Herrera, who was sentenced to 50 months in prison for accepting bribes from a Las Vegas strip club owner, was serving time at a Las Vegas halfway house when he began working for Environmental Ink. He left the halfway house this week and was placed on home confinement, which allows him to leave his residence to work.

Weniger said Herrera was focused on providing for his family when he came searching for a job.

"He seemed very sincere in what he was saying, so we gave him a chance," Weniger said Wednesday.

Herrera, 36, is divorced and has two children. He declined to comment for this story.

Otto Merida, president of the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce, said he has seen Herrera at a couple of chamber events during the past several weeks.

Merida, who was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, said he knew about Herrera’s job but had not seen the letter. As a member of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, Environmental Ink has access to the group’s mailing list.

Merida said he has known Herrera since Herrera’s days as a Democratic assemblyman in the late 1990s and considers him a friend.

"Friendship is not only when you’re doing well and everybody likes you," Merida said.

He said he supports Herrera’s efforts to work, support his children and be a productive member of the community.

"I think he deserves and wants a second chance," Merida said. "He wants to resurrect his life."

Weniger wouldn’t say what he is paying Herrera but said the convicted felon, one of three sales representatives working for Environmental Ink, wasn’t given a "cush" job.

"It’s definitely a commission-based plan," Weniger said. "He definitely couldn’t live off just the salary alone."

Weniger described Herrera as highly motivated and "an incredible people-person."

"I think he’s a good guy, and he came in with very pure intentions, and he just wanted to work hard and put everything behind him," Weniger said. "And, to be honest, I saw an opportunity in it."

Herrera’s home confinement will end in mid-December. Federal officials will continue to supervise him for three years after that.

The letter Herrera distributed to members of the Latin Chamber of Commerce introduced Environmental Ink, describing it as Wendoh’s "new eco-friendly printing facility." It made no mention of Herrera’s past.

Herrera was convicted in 2006 in a high-profile corruption case that sent four former Clark County commissioners to prison. The case focused on bribes paid by Michael Galardi, who owned strip clubs in Las Vegas and San Diego.

Wendoh’s companies, including Spyonvegas.com, all have ties to the Las Vegas nightlife scene. Weniger said one of the companies, Las Vegas Printing Press, transformed into Environmental Ink about a year ago. He said Herrera has no involvement in any of the other companies.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710.

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