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Las Vegas Real Estate Blog

Your Las Vegas real estate information source. The latest news, new construction, scandals, additions to the strip and other Las Vegas and related information.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Graft in sin city

In the local news, this was a brief blip on the radar screen. A "real estate consultant" (aka fixer), Donald Davidson, received a two year sentence in federal prison for attempted bribery.

In addition, Davidson, received a fine of $50,000 and will serve three years after prison on supervised release. His sentence was lighter than the recommendation, in part due to his age (72) and letters seeking leniency from Shelley Berkley (Rep. D) and Federal Public Defender Franny Forsman, who wrote in as a "private citizen". Both pointed out his charitable work, family ties and age....which equals up to what exactly? So why he should get off lightly because he is old? Seems to me that he has probably been doing this for a while. A senior citizen doesn't just get up one day and decide he is going to try to bribe a city councilman that day.

Ulitmately Davidson was convicted in July of 2007 on one charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five charges of wire fraud for attempted bribery of Michael McDonald in 2002. Mr. McDonald was a Las Vegas city councilman at that time.

According to McDonald, he refused Davidson's money. Mr. McDonald was never charged in the case. However, another former county official did testify against him. Erin Kenny, caught in the G-sting scandal, testified that Davidson paid her three grand a month and she voted in favor of a neighborhood casino, plus additional monies after she pushed through a zoning change allowing a pharmacy to be built. Davidson's jury deadlocked on 18 charges relating to charges of bribery of former County Commissioner Kenny. It begs the question as to who else may have been approached by Davidson in the past.

The Wire

Prosecutors had a wiretap recording of Davidson alluding to bribing others for a zoning change. Yet, he received a two year sentence. Of course, if he would have been working in the white house he probably would have just received a pardon.. I guess on this one, Nevadans are going to have to accept whatever justice we can get. Davidson will be turned over to federal authorities by March 28.

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