Former Las Vegas Judge George Assad, who was sanctioned by justice officials for a sentence he was handed and lost his re-election bid after his son robbed the Bellagio in a high-profile robbery more than a decade ago, will be appointed to the Gaming Oversight Committee on Monday by Governor Joe Lombardo.
A Lombardo spokeswoman confirmed the appointment.
Assad, 71, who served as a Las Vegas Municipal Court judge from 2002 to 2011, will serve a four-year term as a member of the board that heads the statewide agency tasked with regulating and enforcing laws for Nevada’s largest industry.
His appointment fills the three-person board.
Assad is a commissioner with the Nevada Transportation Authority, which oversees the state’s cab, limousine, and charter transportation industries. He replaces Control Council member Philip Katsaros, who did not seek reappointment.
Assad was Clark County’s assistant district attorney and private attorney before being appointed to the magistrate’s court. He was subsequently elected twice before losing the 2011 election.
That same year, his son Anthony Carleo was sentenced to three to 11 years in prison for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon after he admitted stealing $1.5 million worth of gaming chips from the Bellagio. Carleo became known as the “Bellagio Bandit” after robbing the casino wearing a motorcycle helmet and escaping on a motorcycle parked at the north entrance to the valet. Assad said at the time he didn’t know if his son’s legal problems cost him the election.
Before the election, Assad had the worst retention score of any judge in the campaign Las Vegas Review-Journal’s biennial Judging the Judges poll, where 69 percent of the 115 attorneys evaluating him say he should not be re-elected.
During his tenure at the magistrates’ court, Assad was sanctioned by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Disciplin for jailing a woman after she came to court on behalf of her boyfriend to tell the judge that he had paid the money owed for a fine and did not have fees. The Nevada Supreme Court ruled five years later that the penalty imposed – public censure – was too harsh.
Assad graduated from Emerson College in Boston and the University of San Diego School of Law. Before going to law school, Assad worked in the casino industry as a game dealer and pit supervisor.
Earlier this month, Lombardo appointed Las Vegas attorney Kirk Hendrick to chair the oversight panel. Hendrick, a Las Vegas attorney, headed the Attorney General’s gaming division in the late 1990s. Brittnie Watkins, a member of the Oversight Committee who has two years left in her tenure, has served as the agency’s vice chair since late November following the departure of former chair Brin Gibson.
On Friday, Lombardo appointed former Nevada Treasurer and Lt. gov. Brian Krolicki for the Nevada Gaming Commission to fill in the remaining months of Ben Kieckhefer’s tenure, who became Lombardo’s chief of staff.
The part-time five-member Nevada Gaming Commission makes final decisions on licensing and other matters based on recommendations from the Board of Control.