Former NDOT employee who misappropriated quarter million dollars sentenced

Featured Image -- 10324Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that Tal Pierre Smith, 56, of Fallon, Nev. was sentenced on Tuesday, Jan. 27 for fraudulent use of a state Procurement Visa Card assigned to Smith to carry out his duties as a Supply Technician.

“State employees are held to a high standard as public servants and should not abuse the trust vested in them by misappropriating public funds,” said Attorney General Laxalt. “I will continue to protect taxpayer dollars by prosecuting crooks who masquerade as public servants.”

Tenth Judicial District Court Judge Thomas L. Stockard sentenced Smith to 18 to 48 months in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Smith was ordered to pay $250,639.11 restitution to the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT).

Smith, a former NDOT employee stationed in Fallon, Nev., was sentenced on one count of fraudulent appropriation of property, a felony, in violation of NRS 197.210 and 193.019. Smith misappropriated money and property from NDOT in the total amount of $250,639.11, over an approximate four year period of time; from Jan. 2010 through Dec. 2013.

Smith purchased unnecessary, extraneous items, with the intent to sell and /or use them for his own benefit. He was able to disguise the unauthorized purchases and it was ultimately the delivery of some unauthorized equipment, while Smith was on vacation that resulted in the investigation leading to Smith’s arrest and conviction.

This case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Office Investigator Wayne Fazzino and prosecuted by Chief Deputy Attorney Thom Gover, Special Prosecutions Unit.

Ty Robben WINS – Carson City DA LOSES: Judge reverses trumped-up “breach-of-peace” conviction for Ty Robben who attempted to serve a subpoena to former NDOT Director Susan Martinovich

ty robben charges dismissedReno Judge Charles McGee reversed trumped-up “breach-of-peace” conviction for Ty Robben who attempted to serve a subpoena to former NDOT Director Susan Martinovich who clearly evaded service when she left the NDOT building through the back door and took a decoy car driven by NDOT employees to the Smith’s grocery store in Carson City, NV.

The order issued Wednesday July 09, 2014 also appears to render the Carson City District Attorney’s attempt to reinstate other dismissed charges including Libel, Intimidation and Stalking as well as Solicitation of MURDER against corrupt Carson City Judge John Tatro as moot.

The “contempt of court” conviction should also be rendered moot and reversed too since corrupt Judge Tatro’s order was illegal and void of any law or due process when Judge Tatro added conditions to Robben’s bail conditions with no hearing after a request by the Carson City Department of Alternative Sentencing (“DAS”) ordered Robben to wear a GPS device and then ordered Robben to be placed on “house arrest” with a “daily check-in” to the DAS office in Carson City from his home in South Lake Tahoe. The original order never included a “daily check-in” or “house arrest” according to Robben who has proof of the actual transcripts of the hearing conducted by corrupt Judge Tatro. Even the District Attorney Travis Lucia agreed in a written stipulation that Robben was not on house arrest or daily check-in.

susan martinovich hit and run coverup

susan martinovich hit and run coverup

Furthermore, the DAS never had jurisdiction over Robben who was a pre-trial defendant t the time. DAS only had jurisdiction over convicted “probationers” not “pre-trial defendants” according to the law under NRS 211A that governs DAS. The law was modified in July 2013 by Senate Bill 101 (“SB101”) to give DAS jurisdiction over pre-trial defendants, however Robben’s issues occurred in 2012.

This shows a clear pattern of abuse of power and acting under the color of law to carry out a personal vendetta against Robben and a cover-up of the hit-and-run by former NDOT Director Susan Martinovich.

Robben has a pending lawsuit in the Reno Federal Court related to this case and now he can show the “malicious prosecution” claim is valid since the conviction was reversed in Robben’s favor.

Robben has been very vocal about the rampant corruption in Nevada and especially Carson City where a corrupt Sheriff department, DA and Court system conspired and acted outside the law to harass Robben using the criminal justice system. Robben has performed numerious high profile protests in front of the State capitol and the Carson City court related to an array of issues including backdated court filings, withheld evidence, NHP corruption (editied dashcam video) the CCSO cover-up for Susan Martinovich’s hit-and-run and Judge Tatro, DA Neil Rombardoand ADA Mark Krueger’s corruption and abuse of office.

See the order here: Robben order.mcgee. appeal




Nevada is a land of wide open spaces and a tradition of the Old West. But, just as over 80% of the state’s land is controlled by the federal government and largely off-limits to economic development, much of the state’s economy is strangled by government through uncompetitive laws and regulations.

Virtually every state imposes requirements for licensing of certain professions. Nevada’s are some of the most stringent.

In fact, in certain industries, Nevada stands out above all other states. And not in a way that promotes economic growth and opportunity. As the Pacific Legal Foundation states,

Of the many “Certificate of Necessity” laws in the nation, the very worst is Nevada’s. That state imposes a long, tedious, and explicitly anti-competitive restriction against new companies that want to offer moving services to residents of the Silver State.

The PLF explains that because of the laws regulating moving companies “there are just 43 moving businesses in the entire state,” which is home to more than 2.5 million people.

According to Nevada law, a person who wants a Certificate must first prove not only that his proposed business is qualified, safe, and financially fit, but also
• that a new moving company would “foster sound economic conditions within the applicable industry,”
• that allowing a new moving company “will not unreasonably and adversely affect other” moving companies,
• that a new mover would “benefit and protect the safety and convenience of . . . the motor carrier business,”
• and, most shockingly, that a new moving company would be consistent with the state’s effort “[t]o discourage any practices which would tend to increase or create competition”!

It’s not just moving companies that are affected by the anti-competitive nature of Nevada’s transportation laws, which harm consumers by protecting established companies from new and innovative competitors.

The Nevada Policy Research Institute reports that Uber, a startup company that allows customers to use a phone app to arrange transportation, has specifically ruled out expanding to Las Vegas because Nevada’s transportation laws are hostile to such innovative companies.

According to that law, the purpose of the NTA is “to discourage any practices which would tend to increase or create competition that may be detrimental to the traveling and shipping public or the motor carrier businesses within this State.”

In other words, the explicit purpose of this regulatory agency is to protect incumbent transportation providers from competition, even if would-be competitors, such as Uber, might offer the public better and more innovative services.

Simply discouraging new businesses may not even be the worst part.

Not only must applicants secure the blessing of their would-be competitors, they must also, in pursuit of a certificate of public convenience, divulge very specific information relating to their proposed operations.

Thus, through the regulatory hearing, incumbent firms gain access to the business plans of prospective competitors. Upon reviewing these plans, owners of an incumbent firm can raise objections leading to the denial of a new certificate and then turn around to amend their own certificate in order to offer a service identical to the one proposed by the applicant. In other words, the State of Nevada not only protects legalized transportation cartels, it allows those providers to steal the ideas of any prospective competitor.

Rather than allowing more competition and letting consumers decide, Nevada law explicitly restricts competition and protects established firms from new and innovative competitors – hardly a situation conducive to promoting economic growth.

Michael Chamberlain

Michael Chamberlain is the Editor of Watchdog Wire – Nevada. Please contact him at for story ideas or to get involved in citizen journalism in Nevada. Follow Michael on Twitter: @michaelpchamber


NDOT Officials say Tal Pierre Smith may have stolen up to $250,000 using his state credit card to support his gambling habit

ImageRENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) — The Nevada Department of Transportation is tightening up its purchasing policies. This comes after an employee is accused of using his state credit card to support his gambling habit. Image

Officials say Tal Pierre Smith may have stolen up to $250,000. Investigators believe Smith charged that much using his state credit card over a three-year time period. On Your Side asked NDOT questions about state credit cards and purchasing policies.

Investigators say Smith purchased items using his card and later, sold or pawned them in order to get the cash that helped fuel his gambling addiciton. NDOT would not talk specifically about this case, however, following the arrest, NDOT said it has reviewed its purchasing and credit card-use policies. Continue reading

“Assault” charge “dismissed” against Robben in the Carson City Sheriff cover-up of NDOT hit-&-run

Good news: November 13, 2012 “Assault” charge was dropped and “dismissed” against Robben in the former NDOT Director Hit-and-Run case where Robben was actually hit and then wrongfully charged as he attempted to serve a subpoena to the evading former NDOT Director.

Carson City Sheriff Kenny Fulong COVER-UP NDOT Susan Martinovich hit and run

Carson City Sheriff Kenny Fulong COVER-UP NDOT Susan Martinovich hit and run

Nevada Appeal News covers the story:

Robben’s sentence deferred in disorderly conduct case
By Geoff Dornan
Ty Robben, who has been battling all levels of government since his termination from the Nevada Department of Taxation, has pleaded no contest to charges in a deal that resolves his case. In an email, Robben said his interpretation of the sequence of events is that all charges against him were dropped. Carson City Deputy District Attorney Travis Lucia, who prosecuted the case, said Robben pleaded no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct to settle charges against him. He said the deal requires Robben to comply with a variety of conditions designed to ensure good conduct and prevent harassment of other officials. Those conditions remain for a full year. “If he’s a good boy, it all goes away,” said District Attorney Neil Rombardo. “But if he keeps up the conduct he has been doing, we’re going to prosecute on anything new.” Robben was originally charged with assault after an incident in which he says he was attempting to serve a subpoena on NDOT Director Susan Martinovich to appear at a hearing involving a friend. That friend, Jim Richardson, is fighting to get his job as a state pilot back. Robben was originally charged after Martinovich asked for a restraining order, saying he followed her vehicle from NDOT to the Smith’s parking lot after she refused to see him. Martinovich wrote that, as she was getting into her  vehicle, “a man started running towards me yelling.” She said she felt threatened and drove away but that he grabbed the door handle of the vehicle and was pounding on the side of the car. After that arrest and a subsequent arrest for violating bail provisions, Robben spent several days in jail. He expanded his verbal attacks to include not only Justice of the Peace John Tatro but Sheriff Ken Furlong and District Attorney Neil Rombardo.

This NV Appeal story does cover the “differed” prosecution of the  “breach-of-peace” charge and fails to report that the main “Assault” charge was in fact “dismissed”. There was little choice with the coercion tactics and  having an extremely corrupt and bias bias judge named John Tatro in control of this sham. Robben was not going to have a fair judge handle this case and he was not going to have a jury trail as he requested. Instead the court recused Judge Tom Armstrong who may have offered a fair trail to Judge John Tatro where a definite conflict-of-interest persists.  Robben has laid down several reasons why Judge john Tatro should have been recused/disqualified from this case in court filings and in this website.

“He expanded his verbal attacks to include not only Justice of the Peace John Tatro but Sheriff Ken Furlong and District Attorney Neil Rombardo.”

We feel that the Taxpayers who pay these people deserve answers to legitimate questions about these “political” figures who are elected and are subject to public questioning, public ridicule exposing their corruption and even simple political hyperbole.

Our “opinion” is that the Carson City Sheriff under control of Ken Furlong (who also went to Carson HS with judge Tatro and  Martinovich) did cover-up the hit-and-run report and still has evaded giving the final reports to the insurance companies (as reported by the insurance company).  The  DA Neil Rombardo took the initial Sheriff report that never included  an “assault” or “breach-of-peace” charge and added these trumped up charges nearly 2-weeks after the incident where Robben was never initially charge or arrested. The time frame for the trumped up charges came after an embarrassing KRNV Fact Finder story that showed Martinovich in a bad light by evading service and the hit-and-run… Clearly the charges against Robben were trumped up retaliation by the DA who’s Deputy DA named Gerald Gardner immediately became Governor Brian Sandoval’s new Chief-of-Staff during all of this.

Judge John Tatro Carson City DUI, breathalyzer test?

Judge John Tatro Carson City DUI, breathalyzer test?

As to  Carson City Justice Court JUDGE JOHN TATRO we publicly ask you to answer truthfully to that rampant speculation in Carson City and Reno that you have been ARRESTED and SPENT TIME IN JAIL in Reno for one or more  DUI (Drunk Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) and even another incident involving DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.  Do you Judge John Tarto have to (or had to) take a BREATHALYZER TEST BEFORE GETTING ON THE BENCH? More on this controversy will be made public as other people demand answers to these questions.  We understand a public demonstration is in the works to ask these very “questions” on large banners and extra large signs to be displayed in Carson City and Reno.

We also published reasons why JP Tatro should be recused earlier on the NSPW website including the fact John Tatro’s brother Tom Tatro worked for NDOT.

assault charge dropped against Robben

assault charge dropped against Robben

he Nevada Appeal also covered this story.


Corrupt Judge John Tatro of Carson City file for re-election

Corrupt Judge John Tatro of Carson City file for re-election

Treason is a CAPITAL CRIME Judge John Tatro & NAG Masto

Treason is a CAPITAL CRIME Judge John Tatro & NAG Masto

Carson City Judge John Tatro - END YOUR GOD DAMN CORRUPTION!

Carson City Judge John Tatro – END YOUR GOD DAMN CORRUPTION!

911 Emergency call from 08/06/2012 NDOT Susan Martinovich hit-and-run incident backs up Robben

The call made immediately after the incident  is here:

This shows that Robben was there to serve legal papers, NDOT Director Susan Martinovich  hit Robben’s foot, she left the scene, and Robben did not follow her after the incident.  Robben did not require an ambulance,  he later had an x-ray on his own.

Notice at 1:23 it seems like a new lady comes on the 911 call…

Las Vegas Review Journal covers the NDOT Director Sue Martinovich hit-and-run


Here in the state capital, residents have become accustomed to protesters and large banners being placed in front of government buildings calling for an end to corruption in state government. It’s no big deal anymore.

But the scene at the local Smith’s supermarket about 4:30 p.m. Aug. 6 could have been out of a comic strip.

Nevada Department of Transportation Director Susan Martinovich jumped from one car to another while trying to evade Ty Robben. He was trying to serve papers to require her to appear at a Tuesday personnel hearing over her dismissal of former state pilot James Richardson.

Martinovich, according to Robben, drove over his foot when he tried to serve the legal papers. He filed a hit-and-run complaint with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. She filed a harassment complaint against Robben. She wants a restraining order to prevent him from coming anywhere near her.

But Scott Magruder, the Transportation Department spokesman, said he was with Martinovich, who became frightened when Robben “banged” on her car windows.

“It was kind of comical,” Robben said of the incident, asserting Martinovich just should have accepted service when he appeared at her office last week.

Although his foot is causing him pain, Robben said he has been “too busy” to seek medical attention and lacks insurance. Magruder said he doubts Robben’s foot even was touched and believes the Smith’s video cameras will show it wasn’t.

Robben was fired in 2009 by the Department of Taxation and has been fighting that dismissal in court. He awaits a decision from the Nevada Supreme Court that might take another year.

He said that anyone can be a process server and that he was trying to help out Richardson, a friend.

Since his dismissal, he and people like Richardson, fired by Martinovich in 2008 from his pilot’s job, have been leading protests against state government officials.

“I am the victim here,” Robben said. “She ran over my foot and filed a false report.”

Richardson has won several court decisions requiring the Transportation Department to give him back pay and put him back to work. But he has contended they are trying to return him to jobs where he would seldom, if ever, fly. He also said the pilot position he has been offered has not been properly funded.

Martinovich did show up Tuesday to testify at Richardson’s hearing before a personnel officer.

“There were 15 armed security officers there,” Robben said.

Martinovich retires in September.

– Ed Vogel

The Nevada State Personnel scandals and corruption keep coming at a manic pace – Keep ’em coming

The Nevada State Personnel scandals and corruption keep coming at a manic pace – Keep ’em coming.

We’ve been promoting our cause and and the results are overwhelming.

We have more new reports of Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto’s office BACKDATING court documents in other cases that have been reported. More to come on this later.

We have more Taxation reports of corruption.

We have reports that State Hearing Officers are operating without legal contracts. Update – Personnel officers contracts were approved in June 2012 and would make these contracts legal.  However, the original June BOE meeting agenda did not list any personnel hearing officer contracts to the best of out knowledge since we we’re looking for this info at that time. Perhaps another Nevada Open Meeting Law violation?  We’ll go back and look to see what transpired.

We have reports of Nevada Officials using false credentials on their resumes.

NDOT Pilot Story developing – State fires pilot again August 2012.

Department of Transportation to comply with rehiring order

CARSON CITY — A Nevada Department of Transportation official said Tuesday that the agency will comply with a state Supreme Court order to rehire fired state pilot Jim Richardson.

Department spokesman Scott Magruder said his agency must reach an agreement with Richardson because the high court refuses to reconsider. He added that Director Susan Martinovich opposes appealing in federal court.

Read more here

Court sides with fired pilot who claimed state plane was operated unsafely

NDOTThe state Department of Transportation looked into complaints by a former state pilot of safety lapses involving Nevada’s Cessna Citation, shown in 2006.

By  (contact)

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011 | 4:38 p.m.


The Nevada Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former Transportation Department pilot who said he was unjustly fired for raising red flags about the operation of the state plane.

Jim Richardson, of Carson City, said the Nevada Department of Transportation fired him in 2008 for blowing the whistle on unsafe operation of the state’s 10-seat Cessna Citation. The plane landed with only minutes of fuel left a number of times, took off overweight and was operated by a 14-year-old boy under the direction of the former chief pilot.

Some of these incidents happened while transporting top officials, including former Gov. Jim Gibbons.

Richardson lawyer, Jeff Blanck, said he expects Richardson to be reinstated as a pilot and receive 3 ½ years back pay, almost $250,000.

The state has maintained that Richardson was fired for not immediately reporting an incident, when an intern “over-revved” the plane’s engine.

Richardson admitted he made a mistake, but said the punishment was too harsh. In appealing his firing, Richardson argued that former Chief Pilot Gary Phillips had been merely demoted for the more serious safety violations.

NDOT said it was still pursuing its legal options. “We don’t agree with this judgment, and we are working with the Attorney General’s office and evaluating how to proceed,” according to a statement.

Richardson’s reinstatement “is supported by substantial evidence and is not arbitrary or capricious in any way,” according to the three-member decision. The order reversed District Court Judge Todd Russell’s ruling in 2009, which had found in favor of NDOT and allowed Richardson to be fired.

The case was remanded back to Russell.

The union that represents state workers had held up Richardson’s case as evidence that state workers need collective bargaining rights, a goal of state public employees for decades. After the administrative hearing officer said NDOT had to rehire Richardson, the department put him to work carrying 120-pound bags of rock, Richardson said, before the administrative judge clarified his decision that he had to be rehired as a pilot.

When Russell overturned that decision, it made the union’s case much less sympathetic.

“This was a blatant attempt by NDOT to retaliate against Mr. Richardson,” said Neil Lake, president of AFSCME Local 4041, which represents state workers.

Richardson, in an interview, said he was looking forward to getting back to work for the state.

We have pictures of NDOT Chief Pilot letting his kid fly the State plane:

Nevada Department of Transportation

Nevada Department of Transportation Chief Pilot Gary Phillips illegally flying State jet.

Nevada Department of Transportation

Nevada Department of Transportation Chief Pilot Gary Phillips

Nevada Department of Transportation

Nevada Department of Transportation Chief Pilot Gary Phillips