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Without Board of Supervisors knowledge, Carson City DA pays Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger to defend against lawsuits filed by Ty Robben
The Carson City DA who also over sees the city’s civil legal matters hired Reno based Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger see thorndal.com without the approval of the Carson City board of supervisors.
In the past, an agenda item was placed on the BOS agenda and voted on. See minutes from 2001 where money was approved by the BOS for Thorndal here: http://www.carson.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2719
Carson City Taxpayers are now on the hook for possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees as the fat lawyers at Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger suck off the pubic tit for more money.
Carson City District Attorney Neil Rombardo and Assistant DA Mark Krueger have circumvented the rules and laws to hire Reno law firm Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger to defend against civil lawsuits filed by Ty Robben.
Normally, the DA who also handles civil matters for Carson City as well as criminal matters, would have to get approval from the Carson City Board of Supervisors. In this case, the DA office completely bypassed the approval and expenditure of public money.
The Carson City Board of Supervisors includes: Mayor Robert Crowell, Ward 1 Karen Abowd, Ward 2 Brad Bonkowski, Ward 3 John McKenna, Ward 4 Jim Shirk
See the related story:
Mark Krueger seems to be removing and disabling dissenting opinions on his You Tube and blogs… Krueger will not answer how much money was wasted on retaliatory legal action against Ty Robben and the Carson City Board of Supervisors (“BOS”) open meetings violations and how much the Carson City taxpayers are paying the Reno law firm Thorndal, Armstrong, Delk, Balkenbush & Eisinger (“Thorndal”) which is estimated it the $10’s to $100’s of thousands of dollars. No BOS approval or oversight. The Carson City DA handles both criminal and civil matters for Carson City as Mark Krueger explains in the video. Here, the DA under Neil Rombardo and Mark Krueger’s watch, the have circumvented the BOS and are paying an outside law firm Thorndal potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars. This seems to also be a violation of the Nevada “Open Meetings Law” that Krueger’s competitor Jason Woodbury keeps saying is so important, along with transparency in the DA office.
On the transparency note, the Carson City DA office has refused to provide insight into their budget to allow for transparency! This seems to violate the Nevada “public records act”…
So there you go, one big epicenter of corruption in the Carson City DA office.
Mark Krueger appears on David Houston’s television show: Lawyers, Guns & Money
…Mark Krueger turned off the You Tube comments
Here are some comments from the new website called Carson City Politics
Last night, the League of Women Voters of Northern Nevada hosted another “debate” forum, this time for the candidates for Carson City District Attorney. Mark Kruger, currently a Deputy District Attorney, and Jason Woodbury, coming out of private practice to run for the first time for public office. Attendance was light and with only two candidates on deck, the session was over rather quickly. The League, once again, demonstrated that it knows how to get things done and this forum was no exception.
Introductions began with Woodbury outlining his background which you’ve already seen here, and then proceeded to his top three issues: Retention of high quality personnel and the high personnel turnover rate at the DA’s office which he believes is indicative of larger issues; delayed prosecutions for which he would “claim ownership” and only grant delays when absolutely necessary; and lastly renew and strictly adhere to the Open Meeting Law. Kruger also provided his background and outlined his recent trial history and attributes. His three issues were: Expand victim witness programs including the recently touted dog program; decried Woodbury’s backing by defense attorneys who he claimed were responsible for the delays in trials; and then never really got to a third point while rambling over topics like services and saving taxpayers money. If this event were scored, the majority of points would have to go to Woodbury. His delivery was forceful, his points clear, and he provided specific measures he would implement to fix issues both candidates identified. Kruger’s delivery was less confident and concise, though his experience as a trial attorney was clearly evident. One felt as if the audience was a jury and he was making closing arguments on a weak case.
When it came to audience questions, the first focused on the significant delays in child cases requiring victims to tell their story repeatedly. The author pointed to the Washoe County advocate programs as a successful model. Kruger claimed extensive experience with child abuse cases and with child advocacy programs but stated it requires a community effort and he would “reach out to the community” for this type of support. Woodbury stated that “we need to be realistic on what to expect” and went on to explain that Carson City lacks the resources to create a specific center but did have multiple resources capable of addressing the issues faced by victims. He went on to state that the DA’s Office needed to recognize that repeatedly postponing trials re-victimizes the victims. This round went to Woodbury though he didn’t claim experience in working these types of cases, he was a clear proponent of effectively using existing resources as opposed to Kruger’s ambiguous “reaching out to the community.”
On the subject of marijuana laws, both candidates spoke to the ambiguity of the effectiveness of treatment programs as well as the probability of changes in the law. Woodbury argued that strict enforcement of existing law was the essential. Kruger spoke to driving under the influence and strict enforcement of criminal law through aggressive prosecution to keep the community safe. No clear winner on this topic; its uncharted water for Nevada and certainly for Carson City.
Responding to a question about the open meeting law and the ability for the City Manger to hold meeting outside of the law. Kruger went first and explained that the law was clear but then failed to explain it clearly. He stated he was a proponent of the law and recited his experience in applying it. Woodbury spoke specifically to establishing training efforts to ensure City personnel understand the meeting law and then explained the need for meetings to occur to provide essential information. This round goes to…no one. You’ll have to watch the video if you’re looking for a better answer.
Regarding the need for a State Court of Appeals, Woodbury sated he was personally opposed because existing procedures within the court system could provide the relief the Superior Court desires. Kruger waffled around in coming an answer but came down to “I don’t know.” Given that the victor of this race will have to appear before judges affected by the results of the ballot question, this is likely a fair outcome but Woodbury gets points for both knowing the issue and having the guts air his personal viewpoint.
On a question of the factors influencing a death penalty case, Kruger gave us a class on the balance of aggravating and mitigating factors being the sole legal question. In contrast, Woodbury came out specifically in favor of the death penalty but emphasized that capital trials are extremely expensive and Carson City is not prepared to expend this kind of money without good reason. Woodbury also emphasized the need to ensure the victim’s family understands that the punishment is rarely actually carried out; criminals are more likely to die of natural causes rather than at the hands of the State.
On the highly charged issue of the Carson Tahoe Hospital declining to provide rape kits and exams for rape victims, Woodbury responded that the hospital’s decision “alarmed” him. He went on to explain that he had followed up by contacting the nursing leadership at the hospital. What he says he found out was that the hospital felt there were not enough cases to keep a nurse on staff with the specialized skills required to perform the exams and that other viable alternatives existed. Kruger claims there are nurses in the area with the skills to conduct the exams but that for unknown reasons (most likely money), the hospital doesn’t want to do them. Sadly, Kruger believes Carson City does have a sufficient number of cases to warrant having the exams done locally but did not provide an solution or an answer to the question.
In closing, Kruger spoke again of his experience and that he would like the opportunity to expand the victim’s services program while revising the efficiency of the DA’s Office. Woodbury concluded by saying he has no other career aspirations outside of becoming DA and he feels he is doing the right thing by standing up for the community, one he sincerely believes in.
As we’ve come to expect during this race, there was little in the way of controversy or fireworks. Both candidates appeared sincere in their belief that they are the best man for the job. Reading between the lines, Kruger leaned heavily on the fact that he’s already in the DA’s Office and his experience there somehow makes him the heir apparent. In sometimes stark contrast, Woodbury emphasized repeatedly that the status quo wasn’t working; for victims, for justice, for staff, or the taxpayers. Notably, he made the effort to get answers from Carson Tahoe Hospital whereas his opponent simply stated he didn’t know the reasons for the hospital’s decisions. There was little doubt that Woodbury easily claimed the high ground during the forum and Kruger was out-done, sometimes simply due to his lack of effort. This race still isn’t as volatile as the two for Supervisor and though it really isn’t as “dull as dirt.” Maybe it should be. Yes, we’re looking for someone to fix the personnel and policy issues at the DA’s Office but more importantly, we’re looking for a champion of justice. Kruger has the experience but Woodbury has the fire. One believes that his years of service make him “next” and one is leaving (an assumed lucrative) private practice to “do the right thing.” Passion isn’t often appreciated in most courtrooms but in a candidate, it’s an admirable quality. Other things being essentially equal, Woodbury brought the most to the debate and brings the most to Carson City.
9 THOUGHTS ON “A CASE FOR A LAWYER”
TY ROBBEN SEPTEMBER 30, 2014 AT 5:55 PM
Mark Krueger lost the debate plain and simple. No guts to say the supreme court appeals court is a sham. Fails to address the real fact that a mass exodus of people have left the DA office under his and Rombardo’s watch. Just Google “mark krueger carson city scandal” and “neil rombardo corrupt” and you’ll get the picture.
ROGER OCTOBER 1, 2014 AT 5:33 AM
Many people have noticed and I want to address it. It is tough to believe that one single attorney can have over 40 jury trials in just 8 years. On standard, one or two jury trials in a calendar year for one single attorney is the norm. It makes me wonder if Krueger’s claim to fame is actually his vice. Going to jury trial that many times does not fall in line with his campaign pitch of saving taxpayers money. As someone who DOES NOT support the city’s careless spending of the taxpayers money to fund self serving projects and to push personal agendas, I will not be voting for Krueger. We as citizens need efficiency, especially from our elected officials.
Also, Krueger responded by saying that the reason for the high turnover in the DAs office is due to people getting better jobs and folks retiring. Well, I can tell you that maybe two people have retired since Neil Rombardo has been elected and none since Mark has been in the DAs office. So his answer was entirely accurate. Furthermore, one can make what he or she wants out of his answer of people leaving the DAs office to take better jobs. One or two people might have done so, but that still leaves over 35 people who left. It seems to me that Krueger [has] an axe to grand with the Public Defenders office, but people with inside knowledge know that one of his deputies recently left to go work for the same state Public Defenders office he speaks so negatively of. Again, make what you want out of it, but that tells me something. Like Woodbury said, there seems to be a problem, which Krueger failed to honestly address.
JUSTIN R. OCTOBER 1, 2014 AT 6:46 AM
I just had a chance to watch the debate. One thing I want to point out is if Krueger wants to become DA, he needs to address the facts, even if it means going against his current boss. Things with turnover have not been more stable since Mark has been on board as he portrays. The numbers simply don’t support his assertion. Many people have left the DAs office since Mark has been there, so his claim of a stable office is a fallacy.
I think it is immature that Krueger wants to attack Woodbury and the fact that he has some support from defense attorneys. For one, having the support of your peers is a good thing and respectful. In order for justice to be effectively served, lawyers, regardless of which side they are on, have to work together and do what’s right based on the oath they took to serve the community with honesty and integrity. Woodbury not only has the support of a few defense attorneys, but also a diverse set of supporters, including private sector attorneys, current district attorney’s from surrounding areas, and highly respected state workers and doctors within the area. I would challenge Krueger to tell us who his supporters are. Most people in the legal field understand the importance of prosecutors and defense attorneys working together to come to the best outcomes in the numerous cases they come in contact with. The whole “the other side is the enemy” attack by Krueger wasn’t a good look. I agree that some criminals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Not all of them should have a jury trial though. Especially first time offenders or those who haven’t committed violent crimes against a person. But to say the reason why cases are held up in the system is due to “the defense” is simply and overstatement and campaign rhetoric to undermine Woodbury’s peer support in this race and Krueger’s lack thereof it seems.
MANDY JACOBS OCTOBER 1, 2014 AT 7:57 AM
I agree with all things said by the author of this piece on the DAs race. One way I gauge another person’s competency level is how they respond to questions asked of them. Seems like Woodbury really attempted to answer the questions as asked while Krueger attempted to answer the questions in a way that pushed his campaign agenda.
I did read an article last week where it seems the DAs office went to the press to try and make the Public Defenders office look bad for what seems to be an honest mistake the PDs office made in the course of a case. The judge ended up throwing out the “contempt of court claim” the DAs office so adamantly pursued. What I found ironic is typically Rombardo and Krueger post almost all of the media stories related to the DAs office to their Facebook pages. However, the Nevada Appeal article stating the outcome of the contempt hearing seemed to be selectively left out of those articles they always feel the need to post. I honestly think the issue that the DAs office has with the Public Defenders office should have been handled behind the scenes. It was not media worthy because as attorneys, those guys should be able to hash things out as professionals before always going to the media to air things out in public.
I’m not sure if the relationship between the DAs office and the Public Defenders office is being publicly mentioned due to it being campaign season, but it sure does look silly. As many people in the field know, there really isn’t much difference between a prosecutor and a defense lawyer. Prosecutors go on to work in private defense work, and defense lawyers sometimes become prosecutors. There is no clear cut distinction between the two.
WOODY TOMLINSON OCTOBER 1, 2014 AT 11:02 AM
Regarding the “Rape kits,” on a grand jury I sat on in another state, the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) presented the expert testimony.
It appeared that becoming a certified SANE was a couple of months of additional training for an RN, something which the public could sponsor via a local nursing program. Having several SANE-trained nurses on staff would mean that they could be on call, and not full time dedicated personnel with not enough to do.
BOB OCTOBER 2, 2014 AT 10:05 PM
I am a bit surprised to see some of the above comments. After watching the debate I am voting for Krueger. Woodbury was against a child advocacy center, and fine with rape victims having to go to Reno to get seen by a sexual assault nurse. In both cases Woodbury cited costs. In the case of the rape victims he appeared to be making excuses for Carson Tahoe. These are not things done for money. These are things done because they are right thing to do. Our district attorney should be a champion of victims rights. It is clear from the debate that Woodbury doesn’t get that.
MEL OCTOBER 3, 2014 AT 3:53 PM
I would encourage the author of the above comment, “Bob,” to read the recent comment posted by former Carson City DA Noel Waters on the Nevada Appeal’s report regarding the state Supreme Court’s decision uphold the dismissal of child sex assault charges against Jeffrey Volosin. The lead prosecutor on that case was Mark Krueger, who, despite being given the opportunity to file an amended criminal complaint against Volosin, opted not to, thus forcing the courts to dismiss the charges. Kreuger is a champion of victims’ rights? Hardly. His refusal to put forth any effort towards the Volosin case means ZERO justice for the child victims of the case.
WENDY OCTOBER 3, 2014 AT 5:47 PM
The DAs office just botched a sexual assault case. It was on the front page of the Nevada appeal. Take a look. And the Nevada Supreme Court thought this. So much for all of Krueger’s self proclaimed expertise with sexual assault cases. The Supreme Court basically said the DAs office didnt even investigatr the crime, but charged it anayway. And when the District Court judge asked the DAs office to ammend the charges and resumbit, they didnt do so. This under Krueger’s watch.
TERRIE WHITEHEAD OCTOBER 5, 2014 AT 7:43 AM
I cant help but to notice that each time Mr krueger is asked to address the issue of turnover that he states that the employees have “left for better jobs.”
This statement is very interesting in several different ways. To my knowledge several of the last attorneys to leave have gone to district attorney offices in neighboring jurisdictions. Further they havnt taken positions which are promotions or with a payraise. They have simply taken lateral positions for the same money. This logically leads to the conclusion that either they are not getting sufficient exerience to encourage them to stick around or they realize that “the world is our enemy attitude” and the current administrations way of handling things isnt the best way.
As for recieving experience, one must ask how Mr Kruegers jury trial numbers continue to increase while the other attorneys numbers do not. If he is truly the expert he claims he is and wants a career tract for attorneys then why has he not taken on the role of a leader and allowed others to obtain experience? Isnt that what leaders do? Isnt that what a boss does? Isnt that what an expert does?
The turnover rates have remained consistant while Mr Krueger has been cheif of staff yet he wont state what exactly he will do to change it. Perhaps its because deep down he realizes that the last 4 attorneys to leave that office left for a reason other than “taking a better job.”
With the election only a month away, like so many others have asked, what exactly would change if Mr Krueger were to be elected???
SEPTEMBER 03, 2014
DULL AS DIRT
by CC POLITICS
The race for Carson City District Attorney has been duller than dirt. Neither candidate’s efforts can be described as anything more than…watching paint dry.
In the blue and white corner, candidate Mark Krueger, currently employed in our fair city and listed on the DA’s website as the Chief of the Criminal Division. Krueger’s election website states that he is the Assistant District Attorney with prior stints as ADA for Lyon County, Senior Deputy Attorney General for the State of Nevada, and Clerk under Judge William Maddox. Krueger obtained his law degree in 1998. Krueger’s website reads like a year old copy of “Forbes” in your doctor’s waiting room and lacks anything of substance in the issues department. These things you say you will do, you should already be doing.
Wearing shades of rust and gold, is Jason Woodbury who’s website simply states “I am running for Carson City District Attorney because I want the job.” Woodbury was admitted to the Nevada Bar in 1998 and clerked under Judge Michael Griffen before coming to the Carson City DA’s Office in 1999, where he worked in both the Criminal and Civil Division. Woodbury went into private practice approximately 10 years ago, working in both civil litigation and criminal defense. Notably, Woodbury claims to want to run a “principled campaign” and thus far has avoided controversy. His “issues” web page likewise lacks substance in what we could expect if Woodbury is elected though he sports a healthy set of endorsements from a wide range of supporters.
If you hadn’t seen the campaign signs, you’d hardly know there was a race. Last week’s dog show at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting was hardly a capstone to good policy in the DA’s office, but there have been no horrendous defeats either. There are no shortages of campaign issues in any race amongst Carson City politicians and the DA’s office is no exception. However, with so little time left before the election, it’s doubtful that we will see real differences in these candidates. Voter concerns abound but thus far have failed to produce substantive cause to vote either way.
7 THOUGHTS ON “DULL AS DIRT”
THOMAS WHITE SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 AT 12:52 AM
These comments were posted elsewhere and moved to this article by CCPolitics.
What a desperate attempt by Mark Krueger and Neil Rombardo to try and win votes in the upcoming election for District Attorney. How about doing some real work over there. I don’t see how these two guys ever made it to their current positions. The Board of Supervisors should be ashamed of themselves for giving these two guys the time of the day. Jason Woodbury should stand up and call these guys out for all of their buffoonery. Neil Rombardo is the biggest joke of a DA I think Nevada has ever witnessed.
WAYNE SMITH SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 AT 12:54 AM
These comments were posted elsewhere and moved to this article by CCPolitics.
I think Rombardo and Krueger together have made a mockery of the DA’s office and justice being served here in Carson City. Did anyone catch the pathetic misuse of taxpayer dollars at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting? Two months before the election, Rombardo and Krueger roll out this DAWG program, which provides a therapy dog to victims of “crimes of secrecy” as Krueger stated. Krueger stated that the Carson City DAs Office is the first prosecutorial entity in Nevada to use such a dog. He must have not done his research. Washoe County Juvenile Detention has been using a therapy dog for quite some time so Krueger’s assertion is incorrect. I’d like to see the research he’s on therapy dogs since he says he done quite a bit. His message sure wasn’t too convincing. I don’t doubt that having a therapy dog to comfort victims of crime is a good thing. However, considering the timing and the two people pushing this program, I don’t see it as nothing more but free campaign time. Rombardo seems to want Krueger to win really bad, and Krueger seems like he will do or say anything to become DA. Many attorneys in the area believe that Krueger will turn around and give Rombardo a job if he is elected. I personally am beginning to wonder if such is true. If this is the direction that justice is headed in our community, shame on the supervisors for supporting such silly and ales serving programs.
THOMAS WHITE SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 AT 2:10 AM
These comments were posted elsewhere and moved to this article by CCPolitics.
I would really like some information about the District Attorney’s race. Since your website is providing information regarding the politics in Carson City, this may be the forum that lets individuals freely (while respectfully) voice their opinions and knowledge about those running for election. I don’t think the citizens really understand and are aware of the constant turnover at the DA’s office under the current administration. It would be good to know about the past dealings of each candidate. I hear that the current assistant DA, Mark Krueger, actually sued his own board of County Commissioners during his time as Assistant DA in Lyon County because they refused to give employees in the DAs office a pay raise, although wages had been frozen for every County employee, regardless of department. Krueger has also run for Justice of the Peace and District Court Judge in Carson City and lost. I am not sure of his motive to become DA, other than to be in a position of power. I just think that some of these issues need to be brought to light so that voters can make a well informed decision come election time.
BOB GARY SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 AT 2:12 AM
These comments were posted elsewhere and moved to this article by CCPolitics.
Does Krueger plan on keeping Rombardo on his staff if he were to become DA? Many people would like to know this. Maybe “author” can look into this. Rombardo probably doesnt have anything lined up so the voters should know if Krueger would look out for his current boss or not.
YAHOO SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 AT 7:00 PM
My observations- Krueger is going to the media for every case outcome and sentence the DA’s office is involved with. It looks like a last ditch effort to get the people to vote for him. I don’t think Krueger should get any kudos because the outcomes of these cases are what they are. Doesn’t take much skill to convict someone who walks into a restaraunt and pulls out a gun in front of a group of customers.How about letting the public know who your endorsements are and how you will do things different than what Rombardo has, Krueger.
SHERRY JONES SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 AT 8:06 PM
I couldn’t help but notice that the Nevada appeal reported the Olive Garden story and didn’t mention Krueger’s name. Almost seems as if Kruger didn’t like how the story was reported and so he reached out to carsonnow.org. I think it’s funny that his way of campaigning consists of just reposting every “free” media story to his campaign page.
MICHAEL JOHNSON SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 AT 6:55 AM
I too would like to know what these candidates are doing out in the community. I have researched both candidates and I was able to see that Woodbury is out and about going door to door and attending many events so that the public can get a better understanding of him and the job he plans to do if elected our next DA. Woodbury just seems to put more effort into his campaign, and seems to have support from a variety of people.
Krueger, on the other hand, seems to not be doing much. As some in the community have stated, he seems to be using his current position to grab attention. Going to the board of supervisors and to the media to push his campaign seems to be his norm. I am just calling it like I see it. As a voter, I have no clue of what he is doing on the campaign trail. I was speaking with someone who knows Krueger and was told he likes to play the “gotcha” game. When I asked what that meant, I was told that Krueger is the type who will do stuff in secret so that if he doesnt get the outcome he is looking for, he can downplay his efforts.
I guess I’d like to know if he is going door to door. Did he attend the Democratic “meet the candidates” gig a fee a sundays ago? Who in the community supports him?
Anyone who follows the current happenings in the local courts are aware of the problems at the DAs office. Even the author of this site can verify that there are staffing probelms and high turnover there. If what I am posting seems like an attack on Krueger, it isn’t. I just want honest and truthful information from both candidates. I have seen too many times where candidates have given little effort when campaigning, and I dont think being elected DA is a job that should be obtained by giving minimal effort. So, I ask that both candidates just give the voters more infromation.
I hope Krueger reads this site because maybe he can respond to my concerns. I would hope he proceeds to let us all know what efforts he is engaging in because as it stands now, the media updates to his campaign and facebook page with the Neil Rombardo likes for things he is SUPPOSED to be doing in his current position just aren’t convincing enough.