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August 3, 2015

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Ex-CSN official to serve one year for thefts

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Steve Marcus

Bob Gilbert, the former construction chief at the College of Southern Nevada, is led away by Deputy Marshall T.J. Knickmeyer after sentencing at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Gilbert was found guilty by a Clark County jury in August 2010 on 11 counts of theft.

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 | 9:37 p.m.

Gilbert Sentencing

Bob Gilbert, the former construction chief at the College of Southern Nevada, is led away after sentencing at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Launch slideshow »
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CSN official William Gilbert is accused in the theft of college property in the building of this home on Mount Charleston.

Bob Gilbert’s past dealings finally caught up with him Wednesday. The hammer dropped.

It was four years ago when the Sun broke the news that Gilbert was suspected of using his position as College of Southern Nevada construction chief to take college equipment and manpower to develop an 8,200-square-foot house, a 2,500-square-foot guesthouse, stables and a lighted basketball court on more than four acres in Kyle Canyon.

Gilbert told the newspaper that the allegations of misconduct sprung from employees disgruntled over his management decisions. He managed in a tough way and not everyone liked him, he said.

In September 2008, after Gilbert had been indicted on theft and misconduct charges, the Sun reported that he had a history: In 1991, Gilbert had pleaded guilty to stealing money from a California Indian tribe. He was sentenced to three months behind bars — a conviction and punishment that were not known to CSN when it hired Gilbert in 1997, because the college at the time didn’t check criminal backgrounds.

In August, a Clark County jury found Gilbert guilty of all 11 counts of theft of materials from CSN. The case was prosecuted by the Nevada attorney general’s office.

Gilbert was sentenced Wednesday by District Judge Donald Mosley to 12 months in prison for each count, with the terms running concurrently. Gilbert was also ordered to pay more than $6,000 in restitution and $10,000 in fines.

Mosley said he has no doubt of Gilbert’s guilt. In brief remarks to the court, Gilbert maintained his innocence.

Ron Remington, CSN president from 2001 to 2004, had testified that Gilbert had permission to have the building material and equipment on his property and that some college work was done there, including welding.

But prosecutors said he had pallets of cinder blocks bought by CSN delivered to his property; took a man lift that had disappeared from the college; stole an electric chain hoist, a paint sprayer, 12-foot lengths of lumber, bags of thin-set mortar, door handles and door locks; used a forklift and a scissors lift that had been rented to CSN, and used the services of several CSN construction employees to work on his home while they were on the clock and being paid by the college.

Gilbert’s co-defendants — Matthew Goins, George Casal and Thad Skinner, all of whom worked under him in CSN’s facilities management department — pleaded guilty Aug. 5 to two gross misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit theft. Each received a sentence that amounts to a year of informal probation.

At sentencing, Gilbert said he was sorry for putting the court through this process and said he regretted the way he treated some of his employees, but he maintained his innocence.

“Everything I did, I did with the knowledge of the president of the college,” he said.

He repeated his claim that the allegations against him resulted from disgruntled employees who had an ax to grind and went to the media.

“I can see how I made people mad,” he said, perhaps because of arrogance or because of a push to get projects done, he added.

Deputy Attorney General Thom Gover said Gilbert’s case should be an example for other public employees.

Gilbert was a public officer in a position of trust, Gover said. It is important for other public employees to know that it is not OK to steal from taxpayers, he said, in asking for a prison sentence rather than parole.

Gilbert’s attorneys, John Momot Jr. and E. Brent Bryson, said they will appeal.

“There are fundamental flaws through each and every count that Mr. Gilbert was charged with,” Bryson said.

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