A 10-year criminal probe of the former chief of University Medical Center ended Thursday. In a five to one decision, the Nevada Supreme Court dismissed the public corruption case against fired hospital administrator Lacy Thomas.
The I-Team was there on the day the first search warrant was served it has been a long twisted road from the very beginning.
Five of the six justices ruled that the charges against Thomas should be dismissed because to pursue them in another trial would amount to double jeopardy.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit spent nine months investigating possible corruption at University Medical Center. In 2007, truckloads of documents and computers were seized from the office of Thomas who was the chief administrator.
The issue was whether he had awarded do-nothing contracts worth millions of dollars to friends and associates who had done business with him back in Chicago. Financial problems at UMC spiked during Thomas’ reign. There were issues to the point that UMC stopped making financial reports to Clark County.
Thomas was indicted in 2008 and then tried in 2010 on ten counts, but a mistrial was declared when it was learned that potentially exculpatory information had been withheld by the prosecution. In the years since the case has rattled around in the legal system.
Prosecutors wanted a new trial, but today the high court issued this ruling which held that another trial would amount to double jeopardy, which is prohibited by the constitution.
8 News NOW reached out to Thomas for a comment, but his attorney Dan Albregts said, “I could not be happier for Lacy who finally has his life and his reputation restored after nine years. We could have more to say in the future.”
Detectives originally zeroed in on five lucrative contracts awarded by Thomas to associates in Chicago who allegedly did little or no work for the money. The missing evidence regarded one of the five companies. Detectives say they turned it over to the da’s office and that they recommended no charges be filed regarding that company. Prosecutors filed the charges anyway but never produced the exculpatory information thus the mistrial was declared.
Thomas no longer faces criminal charges, but it might not be the end of the story, based on what the defense attorney hinted.