Lawyer’s mugging adds twist to already strange HOA case

There’s nothing like a mugging to add a twist to an ongoing investigation.

Officials believe the beating of attorney David Amesbury, who authorities think will be a key witness to the corruption inside local homeowners associations, is unrelated to his status in the investigation. If so, it’s an awfully intriguing coincidence.

Was he mugged by strangers? Rolled by a new acquaintance? Was there more than one assailant?

It will be equally intriguing to learn officially what Amesbury first told Henderson police officers when they arrived Wednesday morning to find him badly beaten inside a gated community. I’m hearing he initially reported being attacked by three assailants who appeared to know his identity.

So far, law enforcement authorities aren’t commenting.

But it doesn’t take much of a courthouse handicapper to speculate that whatever happened to Amesbury might have an impact on his future as a star government witness. In late October, he pleaded guilty to charges he conspired to commit mail fraud and bank fraud.

The HOA case is being investigated by the FBI, IRS and Metro, and it is being prosecuted by the Department of Justice fraud section of Washington, DC.

NELSON RESIGNS: At the district attorney’s office, insiders are buzzing over the departure of veteran Chief Deputy DA Roy Nelson after 11 years. That’s a lot of experience going out the door.

Although a longtime friend of Nelson’s inside the DA’s office on Thursday downplayed the resignation, another source confirmed his departure was essentially forced.

As the top prosecutor in the DA’s gun crimes unit, Nelson handled many homicide cases.

BIG GIVE: The Big Give has all the makings of a big success, local charity executives tell me.

On Thursday, a 24-hour, online fundraising drive at NVBigGive.org was held with proceeds benefiting a broad range of local charities from U.S. Vets to Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada. The plan is to attempt to reach new donors through online giving and social media, and is organized by NevadaGives. Its lead sponsor is United Way of Southern Nevada.

“I think it’s an opportunity to reach a donor base we might not have been able to reach just because of the high use of social media,” U.S. Vets site director Shalimar Cabrera says. “I think being able to give online is a great initiative. I think the community is sort of moving toward that type of giving.”

At the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, President and CEO Jeff Gordon says the Big Give has big potential to help many people: “I think it’s a real positive thing, and I think this gives an opportunity for so many people out there that want to be able to do something, to be able to do it now.”

No minimums, no maximums. No pressure. In difficult economic times, what could be better?

“I think in today’s economy,” Gordon says, “that’s what we need to do.”

It’s easy enough. Just go to the website, click and donate.

OSCAR WORTHY: Former Las Vegas Mayor and budding actor Oscar Goodman is set to shoot the pilot for “Las Vegas Night Court With Oscar Goodman.” (You just knew his name would be in the title, didn’t you?) The shooting will take place tonight in the Las Vegas Hilton Theater, where Elvis once packed them in.

I don’t think Goodman is scheduled to swivel his hips. But if he does, it’s probably the martinis.

ON THE BOULEVARD: In the wake of Wednesday’s column on pedophile profiles, it seems only appropriate to pass along the phone number of the Clark County Department of Family Services’ Child Abuse and Neglect hot line: 399-0081.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call 702-383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith.

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