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Political consultant arrested at Strip casino after fight with partner

Updated March 28, 2022 - 9:46 pm

A consultant who works on several prominent political campaigns was arrested after a fight with his partner, who is running for the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents, at a Strip casino last month.

Las Vegas police arrested Matthew DeFalco on Feb. 21 on a charge of domestic battery after they said he was “the primary aggressor” in a fight with his boyfriend, Karl Catarata, at Resorts World, according to a Las Vegas police arrest report sent to the Review-Journal.

Catarata, 24, is running for the Board of Regents District 6. DeFalco, 34, works on campaigns for several candidates this election cycle, including as the campaign manager for for North Las Vegas mayoral candidate and state Sen. Pat Spearman and as a consultant for the campaigns for Clark County sheriff candidate and retired Undersheriff Kevin McMahill, Clark County Commissioner Jim Gibson, lieutenant governor candidate and Henderson Mayor Debra March, and Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, among others. DeFalco ran unsuccessfully for Henderson City Council in 2017.

No charges have been filed against DeFalco as of Monday, and the case is still pending, according to Las Vegas Justice Court records. A status check on the filing of a criminal complaint is scheduled for next month.

“Matthew has not been charged with a crime, nor should he be. We are optimistic that when the evidence is reviewed by the prosecuting attorneys a non-prosecution decision will be made,” Defalco’s attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld said in a statement.

Catarata, in a statement, said that he had no comment on the incident “as there is an ongoing police investigation on the dissemination of materials from the Las Vegas Justice Court that are not redacted,” referencing the police report that was sent out.

“I hope to have comments in the days ahead as our brave men and women in uniform complete their investigation and provide their findings,” Catarata said. “My campaign for the NSHE Board of Regents is focused on affordability and accessibility for Nevada’s students and working families. I’m the only candidate to advocate for free community college by the year 2025, the only candidate who has state, local, and federal public service experience, and the only student to run for this seat. Nevadans can trust they’ll have an experienced public servant on the board that focuses on the students despite the everyday distractions.”

Spearman said Monday evening that she was aware of the incident, adding that “it’s a private matter and it’s real unfortunate that it has become public.”

Officers responded to Resorts World on Feb. 21 after receiving a call from Catarata saying he was being punched.

Video surveillance showed Catarata chasing after and swinging at DeFalco several times. DeFalco was later seen hitting and kicking Catarata several times while on the floor, according to the report.

Catarata had bruises near his left ear, left eye and the left side of his mouth, according to the report. He also had a cut behind his ear and was bleeding from his mouth.

The arrest report said that Catarata did not want to press charges. Because DeFalco and Catarata were dating and a battery had occurred, “an arrest was going to need to be made,” according to the report.

DeFalco has had previous run-ins with law enforcement, including an assault charge in North Carolina with a female victim that was dismissed in 2009 and a misdemeanor battery charge in Las Vegas that was also dismissed in 2011.

DeFalco’s status check hearing in Justice Court is scheduled for April 20.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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