Update on Nevada Grand Jury Case

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by Sharon Rondeau

Silver and gold ore discovered in the Comstock Lode helped President Lincoln to finance the Civil War, with Nevada supporting the Union cause. With wealth like this, why can't Nevada fund county grand juries for the administration of justice?

(Oct. 13, 2010) — The Post & Email recently contacted Mr. Tim Fasano, candidate for U.S. Senate for Nevada, regarding his pending case with the Nevada Supreme Court.  The case arose from a judge’s decision to deny Mr. Fasano and his wife a grand jury hearing over a criminal complaint which had been filed against Judge David A. Huff.

MRS. RONDEAU: Thank you for taking the time to update us on your case, Mr. Fasano.  I understand you have filed the last required document with the Nevada Supreme Court.

MR. FASANO: Yes, we just did that Tuesday morning.

MRS. RONDEAU: Which document was it?

MR. FASANO: It was the application and second statement under the Nevada Supreme Court Pilot Program.

MRS. RONDEAU: How long is it?

MR. FASANO: (Laughs) Actually, it was relatively short; it was only seven pages.  When they contacted us after our initial filing, they put us into the Pilot Program, which we didn’t even knew existed.  Nobody knew it existed.  They had told me to take the opportunity to use it as a second brief.  So the additional evidence and arguments that we had in our initial brief  which exceeded the limits of the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure were added to this brief.  We took their advice and used it as a second brief to include any other evidence and evidence for statements or positions that had to be removed from the initial brief.  That’s good, because now they have an even more complete picture, and they can see what is going on in the judiciary over in that county.

There are a lot of other things that have happened between the point in time when we received the package and when we filed this morning.  We have talked to numerous district attorneys from the surrounding counties to Churchill County as well as many candidates who are running for district attorney in their state counties, and they are all very, very supportive of our position, especially when they learn of the circumstances.  Many of the district attorneys, especially in Mineral County and Lyon County, feel that we have the Nevada state judiciary into a pickle.

MRS. RONDEAU: That’s what you’ve been looking to do, right?

MR. FASANO: That’s exactly right.  When we explained to the Lyon County district attorney what was going on, first-off, he said the judge’s name without our having told him who it was. He said that if you’re dealing with judicial corruption or corruption in government at large, one of the issues is to take it before the district attorney.  If they can’t do anything about it, then the district attorney in Churchill County has a conflict of interest.

MRS. RONDEAU: I know you said that you couldn’t find an attorney who was willing to work with you, but now you are saying that the district attorney has an actual conflict of interest in the case?

MR. FASANO: He has a distinct and actually, a private cause of action because of this.  This is something that we found out after sitting down with Art Mallory, who ran against Judge Huff in the last election.  So he has a vested interest in the case.  We knew that it existed but we didn’t know how it played out in a true sense, which is that if Judge Huff had committed a felony at the time that we claim or allege that he did, Huff was not eligible from that point in time to run on the ballot in the upcoming election.  Therefore, he wouldn’t have been able to run in that election, and Art Mallory would have been on a post.  So Art Mallory has a vested interest in a private cause of action, and obviously, his vested interest is that if Huff is removed from the bench, technically speaking, Mallory would be next in line for the position.  We had never thought of it along those lines until now.  We were looking at it from one angle and Art suddenly started looking at it from another angle, and we had never considered that.

MRS. RONDEAU: Would you say that this is a development in your favor?

Along with a lead plaintiff, Mr. Fasano filed his case in Churchill County, NV

MR. FASANO: I wouldn’t even say that it’s in our favor as far as the private cause of action from the district attorney in Churchill County, but it’s an interesting result of a corrupt judiciary and what can occur when you uncover such things.  It’s like a sideline.  Is it important?  Probably so, because Art had to take the documentation in, and he’s sending it on to the attorney general of the state of Nevada.  Their opinion, and all the district attorneys with whom I have spoken (and I’ve spoken to six district attorneys in different counties, so far, all surrounding Churchill County) all say the same thing: that the attorney general will not do anything.  When I asked why, the answer was that “It’s not politically-savvy for them to do that.”

MRS. RONDEAU: That was the answer I thought you might get.

MR. FASANO: So the issue boils down to if you have a corrupt government situation, and the district attorney, who is the jurisdictional authority to look into matters such as that, and the attorney general, who is the secondary jurisdictional authority because the original one is the district attorney, both refuse to look at it, there’s only one avenue left, and that avenue is a legislative or judicial avenue as a private citizen.

MRS. RONDEAU: How long did it take you to write the seven-page brief which you have just submitted?

MR. FASANO: Just a few days; it was actually very simple to write, because a lot of it had been written before.  Our original filing was 49 pages, and we dropped that down to 30.  So much of what we had before has been incorporated into this filing.  but we also had some additional evidence that we included.

MRS. RONDEAU: Does the court still have a 30-day time frame to hear your pleading and render a decision?

MR. FASANO: When we started looking into asking for a Writ of Mandamus, we followed the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure to the letter.  We submitted our brief on September 8.  We filed that brief, and we had the understanding that we could petition the Supreme Court and after 30 days from the date of filing, a decision would be rendered.  However, we were placed in the aforementioned Pilot Program, and there is absolutely no notice of the Pilot Program anywhere on the website for the Nevada Judiciary, the Supreme Court website, the Nevada Revised Statutes, or the Rules of Appellate Procedure; nowhere is it indicated that the Pilot Program allows more time to file. So once we filed, they told us that we might be going into the Pilot Program, and we said, “What Pilot Program?” Our opinion at that point in time was that we didn’t want to be a part of the Pilot Program because we followed the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure and we got the Supreme Court to suspend a rule on argument.

One thing that we didn’t know was that the Pilot Program was initially conceived for two reasons, actually.  The first reason was to give a citizen standing in propia persona the ability to take a case before the Supreme Court and make filings on his own behalf.  Another reason for the Pilot Program which was clearly stated was that they wanted to be able to have a system in which a single justice in the Nevada Supreme Court could rule on a matter instead of the plaintiff standing before the entire panel.  It’s kind-of bifurcated, in a way, and it goes against the grain of what most people believe or perceive to be the function of a state Supreme Court.

MRS. RONDEAU: Do you agree with the system they use?

MR. FASANO: Not necessarily; I think we could have done it just as easily with the initial brief that we supplied and it could have gone through a single justice which the rules clearly state can be done that way.  But that’s what our understanding of the Pilot Program is:  it’s for people filing in propia persona.  So we filled out the paperwork expect a hearing and ruling 30 days from Wednesday, October 13, because today doesn’t count.

MRS. RONDEAU: You sound very optimistic.

MR. FASANO: We’re very optimistic.  We feel we are on solid ground regarding our argument as well as our perception that we will get our grand jury seated.

MRS. RONDEAU: Do you believe you’ll prevail in the Supreme Court?

MR. FASANO: Yes.  We’re very confident that we will prevail.  We’ve received a lot of support from people, and people are calling me from all over the country who have become aware that their counties have no grand juries.  Some of them are readers of your newspaper, so you’re doing a great job informing the public about the need for grand juries to be reinstated.  The important thing is that the word is getting out, and I have you to thank for that.

MRS. RONDEAU: Well, not at all.  You have worked hard to push your case forward  and exercise your rights when many people would not.  The Post & Email seeks to expose how corruption in government has stolen our liberties and how a sovereign people can regain them, particularly through the grand juries.  Also you have taken a personal tragedy and turned it to good purpose by educating yourself and others about the broken judiciary system in our counties.

MR. FASANO: I’ve had people calling me from California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Georgia.

MRS. RONDEAU: That’s amazing, and extremely powerful.

MR. FASANO: Yes, and also that the people working in the courthouse didn’t want to talk about grand juries because they didn’t know what they were.  No one wanted to talk about it, and no one had a clue as to how it should be convened.  It had never been brought up.  But they’re learning.  It seems that the tendency of government is to shrug things off, but I think now they’re getting an education!

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