It is my humble opinion that the death of Las Vegas attorney and
family court judge candidate Lisa Willardson is going to take first
place when anyone looks back at 2013’s tragic incidents in Las Vegas.
Lisa Willardson’s unresponsive body was found in the bathroom of her
Henderson home the day after Christmas by her boyfriend, family court
judge Steve Jones.
Two weeks ago when Lisa Willardson appeared on the Face The Tribune
radio show with Bob Beckett, she appeared to be happy and in high
spirits; in fact, everyone in the office was very impressed with her
demeanor and energy. Even after she left the building, those in the
office kept talking about Willardson’s high energy and how good of a
judge she was going to be.
Everyone on the staff was stunned when they learned of her demise, and
a few were speechless. I am not going to talk about the impact that
the news made on me, because I have no words to express my feelings on
I was blessed with the opportunity of knowing Lisa Ann and honored
with her trust; I still have an email from her in which she stated to
me “I trust you, Rolando,” and that meant a lot to me.
Another death that impacted me and bothers me still is what I have
called the unnecessary death of Officer David Vanbuskirk, who died in
the line of duty saving the life of a man who ignored the “No
Trespassing” sign placed on a very noticeable spot on Mt. Charleston.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has refused to release
the name of the man responsible for placing Officer Vanbuskirk in that
position wherein he lost his life, despite numerous requests from the
Las Vegas Tribune for the police to release that information. It has
now been six months and six days since that tragic accident, and we
still do not know the name of the person who needlessly caused Officer
A political mishap that should be a shameful reminder to all of those
in the legislature is the expulsion of two-term assemblyman Steven
Brooks, who was ousted on a political move to give the position to a
friend of County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, ignoring the fact
that Brooks was twice elected by popular vote in his district by his
I believe that Clark County is the only entity that has the audacity
to take down people who are elected by the people in a half-honest
Former Clark County District Attorney David Roger took down elected
County Recorder Fran Dean from the office to which she was elected by
the people because she did not bow to his wishes and commands. Dean
later became the radio show host for Face the Tribune and a Las Vegas
Tribune contributor/writer for six months.
County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani tried to eliminate the office
of the Constable, perhaps for her own personal reasons or for some
vendetta, possibly trying for some political move in the near future.
If an elected official commits a crime, he or she should be brought to
court after being impeached, and then a way is found to remove that
elected official from his or her office after all recourses have been
exhausted — but that does not happen in the “country of Las Vegas.” A
good example of that is Youngstown, Ohio native and US Congressman for
Ohio, James Traficant, who entered a federal prison as Congressman and
only later was taken out of office.
The nine-term elected official will go down in history as the
best-liked and most popular political figure — if not in Ohio, at
least in Youngstown.
Las Vegas Tribune’s Natasha Minsky, reporting on the corruption within
the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, will make history
regardless of how much the mainstream media and the powers-that-be try
to ignore it because other media outlets outside the Las Vegas area
are commenting and quoting her stories on a daily basis due to the
fact that every detail in her reporting is well documented and backed
by real evidence and court documents.
Natasha is the only one who covered the Alamo murder, and is
continuing to cover the Detective Gordon Martines lawsuit against
LVMPD, Sheriff Douglas Gillespie and 14 of his high and most notable
figures in his administration. She is also part of the team covering
the More Cop Tax race of Gillespie’s begging in front of the board of
the county commission for more money.
Last April, with at least eighteen months remaining before election
time and two candidates already assuring us they would throw their hat
in the ring, Sheriff Gillespie announced his intention to run for
The majority of those with an opinion at the newsroom were betting
against it, while the others thought he would run again, but Minsky’s
inside source told her he would not run due to too many legal issues.
Four months later, at the end of August, he announced that he would
not be seeking reelection.
I hope that the new year that starts today with this column brings a
good portion of common sense to the community and everyone starts
putting an effort toward making a difference in their life and in the
way those running for public office are chosen by the voters.
It is my humble opinion that those who have the opportunity to go to
the polls and cast a vote need to be more educated on which candidate
is the best choice for the best interests of this community.
Those lucky enough to be able to exercise their right to vote should
evaluate the candidates based on their experience and knowledge of the
office for which they are running and not on how many billboards
and/or television commercials they have, since it is likely that such
an advertising campaign could be tied to some created interest that is
not in the best interests of the community.
This year should be the year for change, the year that new people get
to take back key offices that for years have been in the hands of
people playing chess with our unenlightened community.
Campaign consultants like Dave Thomas, who promise his
candidate-clients endorsements of organizations that he controls, have
to be stopped by not electing his client-candidates because the
candidates so endorsed will then be obligated to those very unions and
organizations that Dave Thomas controls.
Judges controlled by Dave Thomas will not be able to follow the law
and therefore will not be able to be fair with defendants appearing
before them, defendants who are looking for and expecting justice in
the court of law.
Many of the judges under “agreement” with Dave Thomas — like family
court judge Gail Nathan — are already on the list that another
newspaper has been publicizing for those NOT to reelect, and Las Vegas
Tribune is in possession of a few complaints from people that have
been before her and were very disappointed.
From now on we are going to start displaying on our website the names
of those judges who should not be reelected with the help of those who
have experienced injustice in local court proceedings.
In the meantime, you all have a very happy and prosperous new year
with my gratitude for the support that you all have given to this
newspaper during the last year, with my hope that you will be reading
us again this coming year.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
* * * * *
Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column
appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him
at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at (702) 699-8111.
It is my humble opinion that the death of Las Vegas attorney and