Official facing case to leave post early

A Nye County commissioner facing bribery charges has announced plans to resign from office to focus on his case.

Peter Liakopoulos will step down Dec. 31 with two years left on his term.

"With the pressing issues that I face at this time, I felt it would be better to spend my time preparing for my trial," Liakopoulos wrote in his letter of resignation.

He is set to stand trial June 29 on one felony count of bribery by a public officer, one misdemeanor count of offering reward for an appointment and one misdemeanor count of graft by a public officer.

Authorities have accused Liakopoulos of trying to bribe Pahrump Town Board Chairwoman Laurayne Murray by promising his support for a sales tax increase if the board named his wife to the unpaid position of curator for a local veterans memorial that was being developed.

The Nevada attorney general’s office is prosecuting the case. A public defender has been assigned to represent Liakopoulos in Pahrump District Court.

A message left for the commissioner was not returned Wednesday.

He previously said he expects to be "completely exonerated" of the charges against him.

Gov. Jim Gibbons will appoint Liakopoulos’ replacement on the commission.

Nye County Clerk Sam Merlino said the post must be filled by a Republican who lives in same part of Pahrump represented by Liakopoulos.


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