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Ripoff Report | Judge Joseph Bonaven Review - Las Vegas, Nevada
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Report: #98173

Complaint Review: Judge Joseph Bonaventure - Las Vegas Nevada

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  • Reported By: Las Vegas Nevada
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  • Judge Joseph Bonaventure 200 S. Third Street Las Vegas, Nevada U.S.A.

Judge Joseph Bonaventure, Clark County District Court Conflict of Interest in Nevada ripoff Las Vegas Nevada

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LAS VEGAS CITY LIFE
JULY 08, 2004

CRIME & PUNISHMENT
BY CATHY SCOTT
Bonaventure boys cause conflicts with Binion case

Big Joe and Little Joe. The names sound straight out of vintage Bonanza episodes about the Cartwright family. They're not.

The names of "Big Joe" Judge Bonaventure and his son "Little Joe" Bonaventure -- a justice of the peace candidate -- are being bandied about in the media because of possible conflicts of interest in the Ted Binion retrial.

One of Little Joe's campaign fundraisers is cosponsored by Michael Cristolli, the lead attorney for Sandy Murphy in the Binion case. Murphy is scheduled with co-defendant Rick Tabish in October to be tried a second time for murder in the senior Bonaventure's courtroom.

But that's not the only seemingly conflict of interest in the case. Murphy attorney Cristolli once clerked for Big Joe. And Little Joe once worked for David Roger, who is now a district attorney. This was in the appellate division of the district attorney's office at a time when Roger prepared briefs in the Binion case and filed them with the Nevada Supreme Court.

It's all a little too close for comfort and could eventually be grounds for a mistrial. Or, if Bonaventure continues presiding over the case and Murphy is again convicted, the conflict could be grounds for another appellate decision in favor of the defense.


Judge Joseph Bonaventure, presiding over Binion case, from which he has been asked to recuse himself from. Artwork by Paulette Frankl (used with permission).

Conflicts of interest aren't simply about the conflict itself. They are about public perception. If the public perceives it as a conflict, then it should be removed, especially when the future of a defendant is hanging in the balance.

The senior Bonaventure is already under scrutiny for possible bias in his active role in a book signing at the Horseshoe Club following the first Binion trial. It was a book signing where he, along with his then-clerk Al Lasso, signed a bevy of books not with just his name, but with the moniker "Judge Bonaventure."

The outcome of a Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline review about the issue is pending. Mark Denton, a fellow judge with Bonaventure in Clark County District Court, sits on the discipline commission.

In a 2002 court motion, San Francisco attorney J. Tony Serra, who represents Tabish, took issue with the book signing. He asked that Bonaventure be removed from the case because of his participation. Serra at the time called the book, written by a Las Vegas Sun columnist, a "one-sided recounting" of the events leading to Binion's death. And signing his name to a "perceived biased and inflammatory book" should disqualify him from the case, Serra said.

Chief District Judge Mark Gibbons, in response, refused the defense's request to disqualify Bonaventure as the presiding judge. Bonaventure remains on the case.

SCOTT IS A LAS VEGAS-BASED CRIME WRITER AND AUTHOR OF MURDER OF A MAFIA DAUGHTER AND DEATH IN THE DESERT.

Matthew
Henderson, Nevada
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/08/2004 09:33 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/judge-joseph-bonaventure/las-vegas-nevada-89155/judge-joseph-bonaventure-clark-county-district-court-conflict-of-interest-in-nevada-ripof-98173. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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