Mirage must disclose investigator's findings to Trump

LAS VEGAS - Mirage Resorts Inc. must hand over information obtained by a Las Vegas private detective to Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts Inc., a federal judge has ruled.

Mirage has until Friday to give Trump any notes, reports or tapes acquired through investigator Curt Rodriguez, according to a decision filed last Friday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leavitt.

In April, Mirage sued Trump, Rodriguez and a number of individuals for stealing trade secrets. Rodriguez had been retained by Trump in connection with another lawsuit involving the two bitter competitors.

However, the investigator later signed an agreement to work on behalf of Mirage. Trump argued this arrangement was unethical, characterizing Rodriguez as a ''double agent.''

Mirage denies there is anything improper about its decision to hire Rodriguez. He is to be paid $10,000 a month and the company agreed not to execute any judgment it obtained against him in the lawsuit, according to Leavitt.

In his decision, Leavitt said Mirage in general did not oppose Trump's request for access to the items detailing the work Rodriguez performed for Mirage. However, Mirage did oppose making the sharing of this information a priority in the case.

The judge did not take a position on the propriety of the relationship between Mirage and the investigator. The judge did note that Rodriguez was retained by Trump prior to the lawsuit, and on the day the lawsuit was filed the investigator agreed to gather information on the other defendants.

''These facts alone justify a more (complete) inquiry into whether Mirage and Rodriguez have conspired to engage in unethical conduct in this case,'' the judge wrote.

In its lawsuit, Mirage contends two company employees helped Trump obtain valuable trade information, including a list of valued Mirage customers.


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