August 10, 2021
The Oct. 1, 2017 massacre raised the profile of then-Coroner John Fudenberg to a national stage.  Stories were written about his office using meditation to help first responders deal with the trauma of the mass shooting, and invitations to talk at various conferences about the tragedy flooded in. But after his retirement in August 2020, the Review-Journal received tips that his tenure was plagued with ethical issues. Additionally, no one had reported Fudenberg's lucrative $175,000 retirement package that included severance, early retirement and cash outs of sick and vacation leave.  My review of hundreds of records raised serious questions about his actions in office. 

What I found: Fudenberg repeatedly blocked off vacation time on his calendar that he didn't log into the county's payroll system, potentially allowing him to take vacation and then cash about $20,000 out at retirement. A company co-owned by Fudenberg's girlfriend received a county contract to do meditation sessions, potentially violating the county's ethics rules. And Fudenberg failed to fill out key disclosures that would have revealed how much honorarium he received for speaking engagements. The story raised questions about oversight of county officials like the coroner. His boss,  Assistant County Manager Jeff Wells told me: "I don't micromanage." 

My reporting also found Fudenberg successfully lobbied to quadruple fees the coroner gets from death certificates, but some lawmakers found the increase unnecessary. The funds are sitting, unspent.
 
The Siegel Group under scrutiny by House panel for eviction practices
A U.S. House panel is scrutinizing the landlord’s eviction practices during the COVID-19 pandemic following a Review-Journal investigation.
 
Hundreds of homes threatened with foreclosure for overdue trash bills
Las Vegas resident Rose Parker could lose her home of 25 years for an unpaid trash bill of about $1,850. Court records reviewed by reporter Michael Scott Davidson show Republic Services took action for overdue bills at nearly 150 Las Vegas area homes since early 2020. In most cases, customers owed the waste disposal company less than $5,000 from bills and associated late fees. Records also show the waste company  demanded owed money and company attorney fees.
FBI questions witnesses in Michele Fiore campaign finance probe
Among witnesses interviewed by agents was City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, who had a falling-out with Fiore last summer.
 
'Mobbed Up: Season 2' - that's a wrap
Reporter Jeff German was on special assignment for months researching and writing Season 2 of the crime podcast, "Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas."  All eight episodes are available to download. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mafia crime families wielded hidden control over more than a third of the Strip’s casinos, and federal and state agents had the enormous task of pushing them out. The series examines the Aladdin Hotel's pivotal role, and how entertainment giants Wayne Newton and Johnny Carson battled to buy the resort after the state banned its owners.
 
 
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Thanks for reading and supporting watchdog journalism. The RJ Investigates newsletter publishes monthly. Please share with your friends. And if someone forwarded this to you, subscribe here. Have feedback? Send any comments and questions to Investigations Editor Rhonda Prast at rprast@reviewjournal.com
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