NEVADA – Judge grants newspaper’s motion to unseal HOA probe documents

Las Vegas Review-journal:  Judge grants newspaper’s motion to unseal HOA probe documents
 an “important step forward for transparency” not only in the HOA case but for the courts in general.
By Jeff German
August 10, 2015

In a decision hailed as a victory for transparency in the courts, a federal judge Monday unsealed documents that could shed more light on the government’s long-running investigation into fraud and corruption at homeowners associations.

Some three-dozen secretly filed documents were covered under the order sought by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and attorney Maggie McLetchie.

“We’re pleased that the public will now have access to the majority of the substantive documents that were sealed in the case,” McLetchie said. “This case gets to the heart of key public policy issues facing Southern Nevada in the biggest corruption case in our history.”

McLetchie said the order by U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr. is an “important step forward for transparency” not only in the HOA case but for the courts in general.

“The press can’t report on important critical proceedings like this if the documents are all kept secret,” McLetchie said.

Some of the documents were filed under seal with no public notice, McLetchie said.

“There were documents we didn’t even know were sealed,” she said. “They were completely cloaked from public view.”

Foley has promised a written decision on a second Review-Journal request to dissolve two protective orders he signed barring disclosure of massive amounts of HOA evidence, including many documents not filed with the court.

One of the orders kept secret some 6 million pages of documents, including 10,000 pages of FBI reports, federal prosecutors turned over to lawyers representing defendants preparing to stand trial. The other order withheld information from the public about a separate Justice Department investigation of alleged government leaks in the HOA case.  Read more:

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