Examination planned into Las Vegas trip expenses 

County supervisors went against calls for more transparency by former civil grand jury members on Wednesday, offering few comments after the sheriff and undersheriff were swept up in a brothel raid in Las Vegas over the weekend.

Sheriff Greg Munks and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos were held for questioning Saturday night by Las Vegas police in Operation Doll-house, a raid on eight brothels near the Las Vegas strip, according to officer Bill Cassell of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

The two men were not arrested or charged as a result of the raid, which focused solely on arresting brothel employees and prostitutes, Cassell said.

Munks hadbeen participating in a law enforcement relay run over the weekend, from Baker to Las Vegas, and was looking for a massage at the house, which Las Vegas police say was really a brothel, because he was sore from running, Bolanos has said.

"I have nothing new to suggest there was any wrongdoing [by Munks or Bolanos], so we don't have a basis for an investigation," Board of Supervisors President Rose Jacobs Gibson said, citing the fact the two men were not arrested.

Jacobs Gibson declined to say whether she or the Board of Supervisors planned to call the sheriff to answer questions about the incident. On Tuesday, Jacobs Gibson declined to comment on Munks’ and Bolanos’ detention until she had "all the facts."

Several board members said Munks called them Wednesday morning to personally apologize, but they still weren't clear on the circumstances of the Las Vegas detention.

To ensure that county funds weren’t improperly spent on the trip, which included the use of county-owned vehicles and equipment, County Manager John Maltbie said he has requested that the Controller’s Office examine expenses related to the relay run for this and past years.

Calls to the county counsel's office about whether additional information was being sought from Las Vegas police weren’t returned Wednesday.

The Board of Supervisors should look into the contention by the county’s two top law enforcement officials that they were actually searching for a massage facility to treat Munks’ soreness after the run, rather than taking their word for it, said Norm Heise, a Belmont resident who served on the county civil grand jury from 2002-04.

"They are in a position where they can arrest people for things like that and it seems to be a boys-will-be-boys attitude around the county so far," Heise said. If the board refuses to look into the matter, the civil grand jury should step in, Heise said.

Horsley to Munks: Rebuild credibility

Retired Sheriff Don Horsley, under whom Greg Munks served as undersheriff for 13 years, said Tuesday’s apology by Munks was a good first step, but rebuilding the public trust could be an uphill battle for the elected sheriff.

"There’s an expectation that the sheriff has to uphold the dignity of the office," said Horsley, who called to offer Munks support after hearing about the bust on Tuesday.

Having never witnessed Munks doing anything embarrassing or shameful in their time working together, Horsley cautioned the public against "ascribing the worst possible motives" to what happened.

Being caught up in the brothel raid certainly won’t help Munks’ re-election bid in just under four years, but he’s confident the new sheriff will be able to re-establish himself through hard work in the eyes of the public, Horsley said.

ecarpenter@examiner.com

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