Thursday, Dec. 19, 1996 | 11:59 a.m.
Veteran Las Vegas attorney David Chesnoff said he doesn't understand why an assistant U.S. attorney would say he was a potential suspect in a Los Angeles murder-for-hire case.
Chesnoff said today that he is considering filing an ethics complaint and lawsuit against Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Green over the allegations that he said are unfounded.
"An assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles said I am absolutely not a target," Chesnoff said. "As far as I'm concerned, this is ludicrous."
"It sounds like the Spilotro days all over again," he said, referring to the one-time, high-profile Las Vegas mob boss Anthony Spilotro who had been pursued -- along with his attorneys -- by federal authorities during his reign.
The allegation by Green was made in a federal court hearing last week for two men indicted in the November contract slaying of Rickey Ray Hall in Las Vegas.
Chesnoff is the attorney for 58-year-old Edward Stanley Jr. of Los Angeles who was indicted last week on charges of hiring Las Vegans Daniel Ray Bennett, 27, and Roy Lee Lovett, 18, to kill Hall.
Stanley also is alleged to be the leader of a nationwide heroin and cocaine distribution ring.
In making the comment that Chesnoff was "a potential suspect and target of this investigation by the federal government," Green was alleging that the apparent conflict of interest should prevent Chesnoff from representing Stanley.
Chesnoff speculated today that Green "may be mad that Oscar Goodman beat him up recently in the (money laundering) case of Manny Baker." Goodman is Chesnoff's law partner.
"I haven't had that many cases with Green," Chesnoff said. "Oscar's gone through this for years.
"When I win, I'm happy and when I lose, I'm unhappy ... but I'm certainy not hateful."
Green's office said today that he was in a conference and unavailable for comment.
U.S. Attorney Katheryn Landreth also could not be reached to answer whether there will be an internal probe of Green's allegation.