Grand jury best plan for Tiregate
We believe that asking state and federal prosecutors to reopen the Tiregate case is the easiest and best way to ensure some measure of justice in the case.
On Thursday, commissioners will discuss sending letters to the Nevada Attorney General, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney asking that they take action in the case.
We’re not hopeful that will actually occur, but we agree that it’s worth a shot. We agree with the call for a citizens committee in the case, and we believe the best way for a citizens committee to actually be effective would be as a grand jury.
On Thursday commissioners will discuss sending a letter to District Judge Tod Young asking that he convene a grand jury to specifically investigate the theft of more than $1 million in tires and parts from the Douglas County motor pool.
The 2017-18 grand jury provided the first glimpse into the backstory of the Tiregate thefts. That grand jury took on the matter of Tiregate on its own, without the benefit of a complaint. While no indictments were issued, it was operating at the same time as the Nevada Division of Investigation probe. State detectives mentioned on more than one occasion that witnesses told them they’d been admonished not to discuss their grand jury testimony.
A new grand jury would have the benefit both of their predecessor’s work and the 99-page NDI report, which we believe was quite thorough.
Should Judge Young decline to convene a grand jury, state law allows for one to be formed through the petition process with the signatures of 25 percent of the voters who cast a ballot in the last election. Gathering 6,533 signatures would be a monumental task, but we believe it would be an excellent way to gauge Douglas residents’ desire for justice in this case.