Malone apologizes to county residents

Six days before he is scheduled to report to prison, former Clark County Commissioner Lance Malone reached out to the community and apologized for his role in the political corruption case that gripped the city for four years.

“I write this letter to you to say that I am extremely sorry for my actions and for any embarrassment that I have caused to this wonderful community and its residents,” Malone wrote in a one-paragraph letter sent to the Review-Journal on Tuesday.

Malone confirmed that he wrote the note but declined to elaborate, saying he wanted the letter to stand as is.

The letter continued: “Based on greed, I rationalized my poor decisions, for which I apologize. I am sorry for any harm my poor behavior may have caused any individuals, and the reputation on our fair city and county. After serving my debt to society, I hope to return to my family, friends and community, to work on regaining your trust, confidence and friendship.”

The comments were similar to those Malone gave at his sentencing, when he told U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks that he had started out with good intentions, which “turned horribly, horribly wrong. I was confronted with something I’ve never been confronted with before, and that was greed.”

And in a letter to Hicks before his sentencing, Malone said he “knew that the day would come when I’d have to tell my young sons that their father was going to have to leave them for awhile.

“From the time that it became obvious that the government had wire-tapped my telephone for almost two years, I knew that there would be problems and that my future was no longer bright, my reputation no longer sparkling,” he wrote the judge.

Malone is appealing the six-year prison term Hicks gave him last month in connection with his guilty plea to violating federal racketeering laws. Malone has argued that his sentence was calculated incorrectly.

He is scheduled to surrender by 2 p.m. Monday. The Bureau of Probation and Parole has yet to designate a federal facility.

Malone, who was elected in 1996, served as a Clark County commissioner until January 2001. After he left office, strip club owner Michael Galardi hired him to serve as a lobbyist, but his role soon evolved into that of a bagman.

Malone, 45, admitted that he bribed sitting commissioners in exchange for ordinances and policies that were intended to benefit Galardi’s businesses. Malone was found guilty of a similar scheme involving three San Diego City councilmen.

A San Diego-based U.S. district judge sentenced Malone to three years in prison.

The punishment levied by Hicks was the toughest so far in the case. Hicks sentenced Galardi, who pleaded guilty in 2003 and assisted the government, to three years in prison.

Former commissioners Dario Herrera and Mary Kincaid-Chauncey are serving 51-month and 30-month sentences, respectively.

Erin Kenny, who also pleaded guilty and has cooperated with the government, is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

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