Updated April 29, 2019 - 7:16 pm
Former Las Vegas Councilman Ricki Barlow resigned from office and pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds in 2018. Now he is working as a lobbyist in City Hall, pledging “the key to the city” to prospective clients.
Barlow is registered with Las Vegas as a lobbyist, city spokesman Jace Radke said Monday. Although Radke didn’t immediately know when Barlow submitted paperwork, he said he believed it was last month.
Registration is required for any individual who is paid to communicate directly with a council member on behalf of another in an effort to influence decision making, according to an outline of requirements from the city clerk’s office.
Barlow was sentenced to a month in prison July 20 after pleading guilty to felony wire fraud. On Aug. 14, his company, LV Access LLC, for which he is a registered agent and officer, filed for incorporation, state business records show.
LV Access & Associates bills itself on its website as experienced, professional and committed, and “the Key to the City!!!” while touting more than 20 years of legislative and government experience in ensuring the passage of laws, ballot measures and initiatives.
The website also highlights work in government affairs, zoning, special use permits, variances and business licenses.
When the Review-Journal called the phone number for the company Monday and asked to speak with Barlow for comment on his new business venture, a man who answered said, “no, thank you” and hung up.
On a second call, when it was explained there would be a story, there was silence for several seconds before the man replied: “I look forward to reading your paper tomorrow. Take care.”
Beyond his month-long prison sentence, Barlow, who was first elected to the council in 2007, was also ordered to serve three months in a halfway house and eight months of home detention.
Barlow admitted to using his then-business, Allegiant Business Development LLC, as a front to steal $49,125 from campaign vendors through kickbacks during a yearlong period ending December 2015. He also said he accepted $17,000 in cash campaign contributions between February 2015 and May 2015 that he diverted for personal use.
He agreed to pay about $66,000 in restitution.
The city does not preclude a convicted felon from registering as a lobbyist, Radke said. Additionally, while Las Vegas requires officials to wait a year between city employment and paid lobbying work, Barlow did not run afoul of the cooling-off period because he resigned in January 2018.
Similarly, the Nevada Legislature requires former state lawmakers to wait an entire legislative session after they leave office to act as a paid lobbyist.
Barlow did not meet in person with any council members in 2018, according to city lobbyist logs reviewed by the Review-Journal. Records for 2019 weren’t immediately available.