LAS VEGAS -- Four people connected to an FBI probe into Las Vegas homeowner association corruption are dead, and that is too much for one lawmaker.
State Senator Mike Schneider says it is time to toughen laws against HOA fraud and he is asking the governor to convene a special session. He does not believe that the four deaths, including the recent possible suicides of attorneys Nancy Quon and David Amesbury, are anything criminal.
Schneider is worried about the perception of Nevada. He says he has read online that "the mob is back in Las Vegas, killing witnesses." In Senator Schneider's mind that harms the image of Nevada. He wants the governor to do something about it now. Schneider plans to talk to the governor next week about a short special session he estimates would cost the state $150,000. Schneider compares that money to the millions of dollars Las Vegas spends on promotion, money he says is made ineffective with international rumors of the return of "mafia hits."
"I think the crime is just so egregious and how they have manipulated these governments which are HOAs. They have rigged elections. You rig elections because a board is not going to vote for construction defects. Not only do they rig elections, but they rig defects. This is a legalized shakedown of insurance companies," Schneider said.
One idea Schneider has for a new law is to have the Attorney General's office handle HOA regulation. Currently, the HOA ombudsman works for the state Division of Real Estate. The Attorney General's office confirms the attorney general has talked over the issue of taking the lead on preventing HOA corruption.
In addition to the deaths earlier this month of Nancy Quon and David Amesbury, former Metro Police Lieutenant and Pebble Creek board member Chris Van Cleef killed himself in 2008. Vistana board chairman Robbi Castro died of a heroin overdose in 2010.
Governor Sandoval's office says he does not support a special session. State Senator Schneider will be out of office because of term limits, but he hopes another lawmaker will push forward an HOA bill in the regular session next year.