Monday, April 5 2010 8:14 PM EDT2010-04-06 00:14:07 GMT
A new string of emails may connect Senator John Ensign's fundraising to questionable legal practices. It all stems from emails handed over to the grand jury, and only the I-Team is revealing them.More>>
Thursday, April 1 2010 10:09 AM EDT2010-04-01 15:09:32 GMT
The Channel 8 I-Team broke the story about a Department of Justice criminal investigation of Nevada Senator John Ensign. There are new details about the documents handed over not only to the grand jury, but a parallel investigation.More>>
Thursday, March 18 2010 6:01 PM EDT2010-03-18 22:01:34 GMT
New details have been released in the growing federal investigations into the actions of Nevada Senator John Ensign. Both the Senate Ethics Committee and the Department of Justice want to know what Senator Ensign and his staff did to get Doug Hampton jobs.More>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 2:47 PM EDT2013-05-19 18:47:40 GMT
LAS VEGAS-- Metro officers have arrested two suspects accused of killing a teen while trying to steal his iPad. 15-year-old Marcos Arenas was run over by an SUV on Thursday near Charleston and Torrey Pines. PoliceMore>>
Metro officers have arrested two suspects accused of killing a teen while trying to steal his iPad.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:05:13 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself. But on Thursday morning, as he was assisting someone who had crashed their car, anotherMore>>
When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself.More>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 2:26 PM EDT2013-05-19 18:26:25 GMT
LAS VEGAS-- Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly crash on the I15 near the Speedway. We're told 3 people are dead. The driver of a Acura was driving northbound when for some reason he enteredMore>>
Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly crash on the I15 near the Speedway. We're told 3 people are dead.More>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:51 PM EDT2013-05-19 17:51:13 GMT
LAS VEGAS-- Some of the trams at McCarran International Airport are down due to an electrical failure. Officials tells us they stopped working this morning. Right now at least 2 trams are working, butMore>>
Some of the trams at McCarran International Airport are down due to an electrical failure.More>>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:25 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:25:46 GMT
As a family struggles with the death of a 15-year-old boy killed over and iPad, police are trying to track down the men responsible. Police say two men tried to rob the child of the device on Thursday.More>>
As a family struggles with the death of a 15-year-old boy killed over and iPad, police are trying to track down the men responsible.More>>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:09 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:09:50 GMT
Lines of people were wrapped around The Lotto Store twice this weekend for the second largest lottery in the history of Powerball. The jackpot has grown to $600 million. People tell 8 News Now they waitedMore>>
Lines of people were wrapped around The Lotto Store twice this weekend for the second largest lottery in the history of Powerball.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:02:54 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said. According to the Clark County Detention Center, the volunteer coach,More>>
A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:56:00 GMT
LAS VEGAS - Metro Police says a preteen who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted robbery has died. Investigators said the preteen was walking near Charleston Boulevard and Torrey Pines Drive withMore>>
Marcos Arenas, a Bonanza High School student who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted theft, has died, Metro Police said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:39:56 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating two people found dead in an apartment complex near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway. According to police, the bodies were found around 3 p.m. Friday atMore>>
Metro Police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman whose bodies were found in an apartment Friday afternoon near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- Nevada Senator John Ensign is in the crosshairs of a Department of Justice criminal investigation.
The criminal probe stems from a romantic affair Ensign had with the wife of his key staffer and close friend, Doug Hampton, and what Ensign has done to help Hampton financially.
Subpoenas have been issued to at least six las vegas businesses. The Justice Department came to Las Vegas to interview several prominent business and political figures in what appears to be a wide-ranging and deadly-serious criminal probe.
On March 8, 2010, a two person team from the DOJ came to Las Vegas with a fistful of subpoenas to serve on local businessmen who have had dealings with Senator Ensign or his staff since January 2008. The team consisted of a special agent from the FBI and a prosecutor from the Criminal Division, Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice.
The subpoenas sought any and all records; including emails, phone calls and calendars regarding any interaction the Las Vegas businesses may have had with Ensign, his Chief of Staff John Lopez, Doug Hampton, Hampton's wife Cindy -- the object of the senator's romantic interest -- Ensign's principal political advisor Mike Slanker, and Slanker's company November Inc. Slanker and wife Lindsay were hired by Ensign to run the fundraising effort for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
After Ensign's affair with Hampton's wife became known, Ensign urged the Slankers to hire Hampton at November Inc. Hampton was later hired by two Nevada companies with known ties to Ensign, but the trail of subpoenas makes it clear the Justice Department wants to know if other Las Vegas businesses had their arms twisted to give work to Hampton, or whether they were pressured by Ensign or his senate staffers, and what the businesses expected in return.
According to multiple sources familiar with the grand jury subpoenas, investigators do not believe any of the Nevada companies did anything illegal. Their interest is focused on Ensign, Hampton, and others who may have assisted in trying to steer income Hampton's way.
The Washington grand jury wants all of the subpoenaed records by the end of this month, indicating the investigation is moving rapidly.
A parallel investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee has also generated subpoenas to Nevadans. Most of those subpoenaed by the grand jury were also subpoenaed by the Ethics Committee, but a few served by the Senate were not served by the DOJ.
The fact that the investigators came to Las Vegas, not just to interview people but to serve subpoenas, is a clue that they are pretty serious about this matter.
As the investigation expands, the FBI and U.S. Attorneys are looking for emails that may tie Ensign, Hampton and others to a plan for large cash donations and lobbying jobs.
From what emails and sources say, they were shopping Doug Hampton around, trying to get him jobs in exchange for silence. The senator would give Nevada companies help, but the overall message was to hire Hampton. $30,000 in donations to Republicans wouldn't hurt either.
In early 2008, a group of prepaid credit card companies lost out on a federal bid and asked Senator Ensign's office for help. They wanted to learn from their mistakes and win the bid next time.
One of those companies was eCommLink, formerly run by Jack Williams, a man who claimed to have invented the gift card.
Senator Ensign's then-Chief of Staff John Lopez welcomed the opportunity to help a Nevada company. But sources say Ensign's office quickly seized on the opportunity to get something in return.
Sources close to the situation say Ensign's office warned eCommLink and others about pending prepaid card regulation and that donations and support could make those troublesome rules go away.
Ensign's office wanted a lunch meeting and a fundraiser. Then he planned an office visit a few weeks later. Then the big push -- more protection from regulation in exchange for a $28,000 contribution to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Majority Makers.
The contributions were set up by Lindsey Slanker, whose husband Mike was the very person said to be shopping Hampton around. All of this happened while the affair was unraveling in Washington and Doug Hampton demanded to get jobs.
Ensign's people wanted someone, anyone, to hire Hampton as a lobbyist. Many companies declined. Eventually Slanker took Hampton in, the lobbying began, and now the FBI and Senate must decide which laws may have been broken.
The net they cast in town last week is very wide. Senator Ensign continues to say he has done nothing wrong, legally or ethically and that he will cooperate with any investigations.
Slanker did not return calls for comment. Jack Williams is no longer with eCommLink and his current business has no listed number.