County approves funding grand jury |

County approves funding grand jury

Funding for a grand jury to investigate the $1 million Tiregate theft was approved by Douglas County commissioners on Thursday.

Under a proposal by District Judge Tod Young in response to commissioners’ request the grand jury’s efforts would be limited to the Tiregate case.

A grand jury has the power to subpoena witnesses and issue indictments.

In March county commissioners sent letters to the FBI, the U.S. Attorney and the Nevada Attorney General in an effort to get one of those agencies to take the case. So far, they’ve only received an acknowledgement from the attorney general’s office, County Manager Patrick Cates said Thursday.

“Since we haven’t received anything back from the other people, we need to move forward with this,” Commissioner Dave Nelson said.

Now that funding has been approved, the district court can issue a call for grand jurors and for a special counsel.

The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office isn’t allowed to participate in the criminal investigation because it took on the internal investigation into the use of more than $1 million in county funds to buy tires that were sold by Motor Pool Director Chris Oakden.

The Nevada Division of Investigation issued a 99-page report on the case which the Nevada Attorney General’s Office declined to prosecute.

“We want to get justice here for our taxpayers who have been abused,” Genoa attorney Jim Hartman said. “This is a public corruption issue that needs to be taken care of.”