I am talking about Eighth Judicial District Court Judge in Department 19, William Bill Kephart, who is celebrating his birthday on the same day as the alleged Cuban Independence Day on May 20 (but a different year, I hope). Judge Kephart’s Judicial Executive Assistant, Minddie Lloyd, was gracious enough to invite me to a private party in honor of Your Honor. Happy Birthday, Bill!
I would also like to congratulate Minddie’s husband on his promotion to Lieutenant and for having his own unit within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. I don’t have the pleasure of knowing him, but out of respect and a measure of safety, I am not giving his name out until I know it is OK to do that — but I do say, Congratulations, Lieutenant!
And one last thing regarding Minddie; I want to give her my most sincere condolences on behalf of the Las Vegas Tribune and my own for the loss of her father, who recently died in the Philippines.
After reading Thomas Mitchell’s guest commentary last week, “Four years after: On the whims, happenstances and vicissitudes, Dude,” in this very same newspaper, I realized how right on he is and I hope that article can open the eyes of a few of the readers that have followed him from the little newspaper on Bonanza Road and those who
are now reading his articles in the Las Vegas Tribune and many other newspapers in Nevada for which he now writes.
Those who today are holding positions that others could view with envy should be the first ones to read Mitchell’s columns so they can realize that nothing is forever; and especially in Las Vegas one can only keep an “envy position” as long as one is a follower and as longas one obeys and bows to the master.
“The beginning of the end came about a week after Harry Reid was re-elected. I was called into a front office to learn that the newspaper’s longtime publisher and CEO of the parent media company had been replaced with a new publisher and a separate person as CEO and that I had the choice of leaving with a modest severance package or staying on with a new job. It took me awhile to realize I had made a mistake by staying, for more reasons than I care to explain,” Mitchell wrote in his commentary.
I always liked Tom Mitchell because even if I never met him he appears to be a straight-shooter and a fair man who cares for this city and cares for his job; my two favorite guys at the daily paper, Mitchell and the publisher and CEO, Sherman Frederick, are now gone from the Bonanza Road newspaper.
Why did I like Sherman? Because he didn’t like Harry Reid and because he appeared to let Mitchell do his job without interference and I believe that is a plus in any boss.
Why did I/do I like Mitchell? Because he is a newsman (you need to be a newsman before you can be an editor), and because he protects the integrity of the newspaper he works for and he staves off the possibility of any conflict of interest by not allowing his reporters to accept complimentary meals, drinks or shows from present or future advertisers. Many people don’t realize that honesty is very important in the news business because honesty is the road to integrity.
Tom Mitchell was never afraid to come out in defense of or to protect the rights of an individual, even with another news organization, and he did it with me when the federal government subpoenaed me on the trial of Jerry Burgess.
That day Thomas Mitchell left his office and walked into the federal building to give me the moral support I needed at that time even if he did not know me; I think he was there to make sure my rights, any rights, were not violated.
People do not want to realize that as long as they are in a secure position, an important position, and/or in a “useful” position, they have friends, but once they don’t have that job, that position that made them important, the friends are gone.
I remember a very important casino executive for whom the owners of the property threw a pool party on his birthday on a Friday with an orchestra, a bikini-clad girl coming out of a big cake and everyone wishing him a happy birthday and wanting to take pictures with the birthday boy.
Little did they know that on the following Monday when he tried to get in his office the key did not work and he was greeted by two big security guards (that were not at the party) letting him know that he no longer worked at that hotel.
No reasoning, no excuses, no explanation whatsoever, just “we have your personal property in this little bag because your clients’ list and any other paper work is now ours.”
This is a cold town; very cold. The late former Sheriff John Moran and his late wife Goldie used to come to my home; I remember that I used to have lunch with District Attorney Rex Bell on a regular basis and enjoy parties in his home on Shadow Lane, but I did not see any of those people by my side when I refused to be a snitch; and in fact it was Moran’s own political squad who destroyed my life and that of my family with the help of Rex Bell, who always refused to disobey the
I have no idea what sparked Tom Mitchell to write that commentary, but I am not surprised that he experienced some type of disillusion with someone he has met before.
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 702-868-NEWS (6397)