I am the Sparks city attorney and am asking for your vote this November. I have dedicated my career to public service. I began my law career as a law clerk for the Honorable Deborah Agosti before becoming a Deputy District Attorney for the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office where I honed my skills in the Civil Division. After serving the public in that office, I served the citizens of Sparks by becoming the chief deputy in the Civil Division of the Sparks City Attorney’s Office. In 1996 I had the honor of becoming the Sparks city attorney and have had the privilege of representing the city for the past 12 years.
My tenure while serving as the Sparks city attorney has been highlighted by many accomplishments. In the Criminal Division I advocated and created the first full-time Victim Advocate Position, which has been instrumental in maintaining a conviction rate for domestic violence that is three times higher than the national average. This office has also maintained a 95-percent driving under the influence conviction rate. The Civil Division has likewise been extremely successful in defending lawsuits against the city of Sparks. Between 1991 and 2007, lawsuits filed against the city of Sparks sought a total of $136,094,938 in damages. Our office successfully defended over 99 percent of these lawsuits and the city of Sparks paid less than 1 percent of claimed damages. As a result, the Sparks City Attorney’s Office has saved the Sparks’ taxpayers $134,901,892.
Being the Sparks City Attorney requires not only the ability to aggressively defend the city in lawsuits and prosecute criminal cases, but also the ability to lead when others will not and the courage to say “no” even when doing so is not politically popular. That is why I fought against the move to make the Sparks city attorney an appointed position. It is my continued belief that the Sparks city attorney must have the ability to give impartial advice and not be swayed by political whims.
The success of my office is due to my tenacity, aggressiveness, leadership, knowledge and experience that I have gained during the 21 years that I have dedicated to the public as a government attorney. This is the continued commitment of experienced and dedicated service that I promise the citizens of Sparks upon my re-election. The citizens of Sparks deserve no less.
It has been and honor and a privilege to serve the city of Sparks and I humbly ask for your vote.
From Neil Grad, attorney
I am running for Sparks city attorney because I care about my community’s crying need for capable legal counsel.
Nevadans are safer due to my work. My precedent-setting case against a local taxi company was used against Pacific Gas & Electric when the huge utility tried to abuse its bankruptcy filing to get around laws and regulations. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with my argument protecting ratepayers from serious jeopardy.
I was selected by the Nevada Public Service Commission to represent the state in front of the Ninth Circuit in a case directly impacting the safety of Sparks residents. In the 1970s, a fire in a Roseville, Calif., railyard revealed that the Hawthorne munitions facility was shipping bombs in wooden freight cars — many of which traveled right through Sparks and were parked in our downtown.
While the court upheld federal authority, that case contributed to the Department of Defense moving to safer steel containers.
The Sparks Tribune, city councilmembers Ron Schmitt and John Mayer and columnist Ira Hansen have all called for the 12-year incumbent’s resignation.
My opponent claims to support the prevailing wage law but has told Sparks labor leaders that he will not enforce the law on the huge Legends Marina project.
He has lost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in three sexual harassment actions for which he is to blame yet still publicly denies. He touts saving the city over $100 million in legal claims. That’s merely what various plaintiffs have asserted in filings and has no basis in reality.
He has continued his business relationship with Carlos Vasquez, spokesman for developer Harvey Whittemore’s divisive Lazy 8 casino project.
There are so many examples of his misconduct and poor judgment that my campaign has built an entire Web site (ChetRegrets.com) made up entirely of news reports detailing them.
“Instead of getting the city out of problems, he’s only gotten the city into unnecessary financial situations, including payoffs that have always been just short of the threshold needing the council’s approval. (“Who’s running this city?” Daily Sparks Tribune editorial, Aug. 8, 2007)
I am a much more experienced lawyer than my opponent. I have practiced law in both the private and government sectors and realize that a public servant must be open, forthcoming and non-adversarial when his client is the taxpayer.
I cannot stand by when I see my city in need. My grandchildren and yours deserve better.
That’s why I ask Sparks citizens for their votes.