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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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June 19, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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June 19, 1997
 

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wl 24 Thursday, June 19, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Aq .00er lawsuit shc00ws the ugly side of Nye The one constant that always remains the same in Nye County politics is that what you see is never what you get The general public is always, intentionally, left in the dark. The true agenda is always hidden and frequently, what the common person would perceive as a "major player," is as ignorant as the man on the street. To seek the truth behind the lies and come up with results that reflect a reasonably accurate degree of success takes no small amount of time and determination, coupled with multiple sources of information not readily available to the general public. To get the truth in print and accessible to the public takes courage on the part of an editor and a publisher. Sometimes there is not enough time, sometimes there is not enough determination and sometimes there is not enough courage, but when these three elements blend together the result is meant to be, and sometimes is, enlightening. Understanding Nye County politics is an art form com- parable to watching and comprehending a magician. To understand a magician you can't pay attention to what they appear to be doing, you have to concentrate on what they appear to be not doing. It takes a lot of practice and, even then, you won't always get it exactly right. This article is being written to inform you of some of the things that have been going on behind your back during the last month or so while your attention has been diverted by an enormous amount of BS being shoveled your way about the Nye County budget process. The information being presented concerns a lawsuit that II I I I I L,,e00 9e.,., Gro.00 I lenture Reline And Repair I - Plans From will prove to be only a little less monetarily devastating to Nye County than the Bill Offutt fiasco and is a condensation of hundreds of pages of federal court documents and legal documents pertaining to federal court action. The Bill Offutt fiasco is something that all county officials would much prefer to just not talk about, but many of the major players in the two cases are the same. In order to make sense to the reader, we have to start somewhere near the beginning, which in this case was in THIS MAN'S OPINION From Other Carriers? Ask about our by Brent Mathewson :::iii" ,,: 1980 when Nye County hired Advanced Health Systems (AHS) to mn the county hospital in Tonopah. By 1983 Nye County was disillu- sioned with AHS and fired the firm. AHS sued Nye County for $1.2 million claiming breach of contract. Nye County hired "special counsel" to defend the suit. One of the lawyers hired was Paul Parraguirre and his law firm. Another lawyer hired was Gordon Hyde. Special counsel collectively hired an investigative firm called Re- search Associates to assist. Research Associates was owned by Evan Acker. Hyde and Acker were, and are, husband and wife. Acker was specifically assigned and authorized by the then-district attorney of Nye County to represent Nye County in obtain- ing and organizing documents and other evidence gathered from sources that were not available to the public-at-large. Acker was good at what she did and pursued her inves- tigation of the activities of AHS not only as to their manage- ment practices at the Nye County General Hospital, but also as to some twenty-something other hospitals throughout the United States that AHS was then managing. As a result of this investigation, evidence was developed, indicating that AHS had en- gaged in a pattern of rack- eteering activity in which it HIGH would contract with small counties to run their hospi- DEPOSIT tals, loot the hospitals oftheir revenues by various means, including fraudulent medi- cal bills submitted by AHS No Quallfylng PrePuy Plan! on which AHS would receive payment, abandon the hospi- tals while leaving them destitute, and then sue the hospitals and related persons and governmental agencies on theories that were potentially covered by liability insurance policies held by the county. This information led directly to special counsels' filing counterclaims on behalf of Nye County in the AHS case based on such fraudulent conduct. During this time special counsel agreed to a reduced hourly rate for work on the case in return for a 50 percent contingency fee of any recovery based on the counterclaims. A Beverly Hills law firm, Browne and Woods, eventu- ally substituted into the action in the place of Parraguirre as special counsel, and although Hyde remained associated as special counsel, he assigned to Browne and Woods hic interest in the contingency fee prior to settlement of t, litigation. During nine years of litigating the AHS case, from 1983- 92, Acker frequently commended by Nye County officials for her effective manner in which she executed her very difficult discovery assignments. During no period of the AHS litigation did any Nye County official ever criticize her for the execution of her assigned duties. However, toward the end of the AHS litigation, a new bod of county commissioners and a new district attorney, Art Wehrmeister, were elected. Cameron McRae became the chairman of the board of the Nye COunty Commission. As a settlement progressed to end the litigation, it became apparent that there was a strong possibility that AHS might agree not only to dismiss its claims against Nye County, but might pay Nye County a significant amount in settlement of Nye County's counterclaims against AHS. After a series of meetings between AHS representatives, Browne and Woods, and Nye County officials, a settlement of litigation was achieved. AHS agreed to dismiss all of its claims against Nye County and to pay Nye County approxi- mately $900,000 in damages. But once the settlement was concluded and the settlement checks in hand, Nye County refused to pay Browne and Woods' contingent fee. Browne and Woods then brought fee action against Nye County in federal court to recover their fees and costs. Nye County responded with counterclaims against Browne and Woods and every attorney who had ever assisted Nye county in the AHS case, including Hyde. The county also named Acker as a counter-defendant. These claims for relief are referred to in the federal court records as "the counterclaims." All claims for relief in the counterclaims were terminated in favor of the plaintiffs and Continued on next page Monthly . Motorola Cellular Phone With Battery & Charger . Activation Programming . Local Calls All Day Sundays _ No Roaming Charges Be00een Pahrump &Las Vegas XCaU .TOD,,727.8430 B0000FJ; J00nt00cu 1-800-449-1269 Programming Packages Starting at About a Dollar a Day!" i Totei ms lc Fs $149.00 aad Ooes nol h.,uOe atr/ ptoamwa costs, oOzC nel            to creda apfoval Olr va -,oogh July 31, 1997  be comba wr any o o1. 0' avadabe Itvch sete dtstr/out channels Local ,sales tax may apy. "Does not  , Based o, setecteci packages Prices are ,subiect to change. Local sales  y . , , FOX,  and PBS t=*e avBla only to tehads th= car.tt teceNe tt  .lt,air from the Ioc W staaoa  a      r   rork by caie TV wilhin 90 days pno  sateve sece All charm,s ate intended for private  .     servce only 1997 PMESTkFi BY TSAT.