Week in Review: Top News

In a rage at John Ensign for having an affair with his wife, Doug Hampton sought to bring down the senator but implicated himself in the process.

Ensign’s former top administrative assistant was indicted Thursday on seven counts of violating a federal law that forbids senior Senate staffers from lobbying the Senate for a year after they leave their Capitol Hill jobs.

The indictment is another big blow to Hampton, who learned late in 2007 that his wife, Cindy, had an affair with the senator while working as treasurer of his political operations.

Ensign tried to cover up and smooth over the scandal by calling business supporters and setting up Hampton as a lobbyist. The senator’s wealthy parents also gave $96,000 to the Hampton family.

Ensign has not been charged, but his political career is over.

Monday

Shock follows arrest

Courthouse colleagues reacted with shock to news that high-profile drug prosecutor David Schubert was arrested Saturday and accused of possession of rock cocaine.

The 47-year-old chief deputy district attorney handled high-profile drug cases, including last year’s busts of celebrity socialite Paris Hilton and pop singer Bruno Mars.

Those who knew him said he gave no hint of a possible substance abuse problem, but a convicted drug dealer told police Schubert had been buying crack cocaine two or three times a week.

Tuesday

A Doctor’s Defense

A Las Vegas Valley urologist whose medical license has been suspended for reusing single-use needle guides bought ad space in the Review-Journal to defend himself and blame an unnamed equipment vendor.

The Southern Nevada Health District on Monday sent 101 letters to patients treated by Dr. Michael Kaplan, advising them to get tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C.

The ad says Kaplan used a process known as high-level disinfection to clean the needle guides, and it quotes the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses defending such practices.

Wednesday

Motive still a mystery

With the final piece of the investigation complete, police in Mesquite officially closed their inquiry with no real understanding of why a city councilwoman shot her husband and then turned the gun on herself.

Donna Fairchild, 52, had no drugs in her system when she killed her husband, Bill, and then herself on Jan. 25, according to a summary of toxicology results released by Mesquite police.

The strongest substance in her bloodstream that morning was caffeine, police said.

Thursday

Preparing to slash

The Clark County School Board voted 7-0 to allow the district to plan for a "reduction in force" that would eliminate nearly 2,500 jobs, including classroom teachers.

In addition to the staff cuts, school employee salaries would be lowered by nearly 8 percent, class sizes would increase and the textbook budget would be reduced by 25 percent as part of a plan to save the district nearly $411 million for 2011-12.

Friday

Reprimand for racism

Nye County commissioners voted unanimously to reprimand Assessor Shirley Matson for embarrassing the county with a racially charged email and other comments questioning the citizenship of workers on a county job.

While the commissioners agreed Matson violated the county’s personal conduct policy, she is an elected official and they can do little more than issue a public reprimand that carries no penalty.

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