Las Vegas Tribune
The usual, those with name recognition, money, political power and connections always get to the courtroom with illnesses they never had before, or in a wheelchair.
Disgraced political Nevada public figure Kelvin Atkinson who, back in 2019, was sentenced to twenty-seven months in a federal penitentiary walked out of prison last week after Federal Judge James Mahan allowed him to be released due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson was sentenced last year to more than two years in federal prison for misusing at least $249,900 of campaign donor money on personal expenses including opening a Las Vegas nightclub, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI Las Vegas Office, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Ismael Nevarez Jr. for the IRS Criminal Investigation.
Last week the same federal judge, Jim Mahan, that sentenced Atkinson in March of 2019 to twenty-seven months in a federal prison, today opened the doors of that federal prison to release him because he supposedly has an illness that puts him in greater danger from the coronavirus.
Other inmates and people outside American penitentiaries may suffer the same illness as Atkinson, but have less political clout and will not be able to go home to be “treated” for what could well be a fake disease and in Atkinson’s case, also to enjoy some of the $250,000.00 he admitted misusing out of his campaign funds.
According to court documents, from at least January 2010 to about December 2017, Atkinson, 49, admitted that he devised a scheme to mislead donors contributing to his campaign by falsely representing to them that he would use donations for lawful campaign purposes.
In reality, he misused contributions in his campaign account for personal expenses. Atkinson admitted that he used nearly $250,000 from his campaign bank account for personal expenses instead of legitimate campaign purposes. His personal spending of campaign funds included approximately $100,000 in payments to his personal credit cards, $75,000 towards opening and operating a Las Vegas nightclub, and $20,000 on leasing a Jaguar Sports Utility Vehicle, among many other personal expenditures.
The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Schiess prosecuted the case. “I’ve let myself and my family down. I accept full responsibility for my actions and cannot express the depth of my remorse. I am fully sorry,” Atkinson said. Kelvin Atkinson apologized in an emotional speech on the floor of the state Senate back then and said he was embarrassed, ashamed and would be pleading guilty to charges he faces. Atkinson resigned immediately after admitting to misusing campaign funds for personal use.
Former Clark County Commissioner Christina R. Giunchigliani, AKA Chris G., was a furious supporter of Atkinson and lead the support that made the disgraceful politician Nevada Senator and later the Majority Leader of the Nevada Senate, most likely for being Black and Gay. In Nevada most public servants come out as gay before announcing their interest in running for office knowing that the community as well as politicians and elected officials are afraid to speak negatively of gays for fear of being accused of being homophobic.
It is unknown if Judge James Mahan will allow the former senator to drive his now two-year old Jaguar or if he even wants to drive a two-year-old car purchased with ill-gotten funds.