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Mayor, developer express frustration

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and developer Bill Walters are both frustrated with the pace of the investigation into the city’s dealings with the influential developer.

A report in October, commissioned by the Nevada attorney general’s office, said that it appeared the city had granted Walters several political and financial favors related to the Royal Links Golf Club.

But the report left the decision of criminal charges up to the attorney general.

Before he left office in January, Attorney General George Chanos forwarded the investigation to the FBI and asked them to pursue charges.

Since then, the FBI has confirmed only that it has received the report Chanos commissioned.

The current attorney general, Catherine Cortez Masto, would not comment for this story, her office said.

Two figures in the dealings between the city and Walters were not interviewed by the private law firm Senn Meulemans, which did the investigation for the attorney general.

One is former Las Vegas Public Works Director Richard Goecke, whose daughter worked for The Walters Group and was a figure in many of what the attorney general’s investigation called questionable actions. Goecke’s attorney, Charles Kelly, declined to comment for this story.

The other figure whom investigators have not talked to is Walters himself, who said he has not been asked for an interview by any agency.

“I’ve made it clear for everybody. I’ll answer any question anybody has on anything,” Walters said.

He blamed the law firm for waiting until just before the report was finalized to ask him for an interview.

The investigators said Walters and his lawyer made unreasonable demands, such as providing copies of everything they had written.

Chanos was in the midst of deciding on how to proceed, including the possibility of convening a grand jury in November when Walters accused him of being biased.

Chanos met with the local chief of the FBI before he left office on Jan. 1, and he publicly suggested that some charges, including bid rigging, could be looked at.

The open investigation is a “cloud over the city,” Goodman said. “It’s something we need closure on.”

Walters said, “I’m as frustrated as the mayor is.”

Chanos said he had no knowledge of the status of the investigation.

Walters has said that he will not bring forward his proposal to build 1,200 homes within 20 feet of the city’s sewage plant while the investigation continues.

But he has left open the door to resurrect the idea once the inquiry is finished.

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