Criminal fraud charges haven’t even been filed against Steven Brox, the embattled owner of a now-closed courthouse counseling service, but the police investigation is already attracting plenty of attention in District Court.
Courthouse sources say local prostitutes were among the people who allegedly received phony certificates stating they had completed Brox’s counseling programs.
That piece of information is said to be contained in a still-secret, and potentially explosive, sworn affidavit police used to obtain a judge’s permission to raid Brox’s home last month. Police also searched the home and office of attorney Brian Bloomfield, who allegedly referred clients to Brox.
On Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Chris Owens, the No. 2 person in the office, showed up in court to beat back an attempt by Brox’s lawyer, Robert Draskovich, to gain access to the affidavit.
Owens wasn’t a happy camper. Somehow, Draskovich was able to get a motion to unseal the affidavit before District Judge James Bixler, one of a few jurists at the courthouse regarded as being pro-defense.
The case just popped up on Bixler’s court calendar.
The district attorney’s office, which opposes unsealing the affidavit, wasn’t notified about the motion, which by state law should have gone before Judge David Wall, who who signed the affidavit.
With members of the media in court on Tuesday, Bixler decided not to hear the motion. He did the right thing and transferred the matter to Wall. A hearing was set for June 2.
This case has attracted interest at the Regional Justice Center for another reason. The name of District Judge Doug Smith has been linked to the investigation. Smith is not reported to be a target, but he was very friendly with Brox and even helped him pitch his counseling programs to casino security chiefs on the Strip.