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Another Nevada (Ex)Official Arrested for Murder, Had Similar Charges Dismissed

A 50-year cold case murder has resulted in the arrest of Tudor Chirila, 77, former Nevada Deputy Attorney General. On September 6, Reno police executed a search warrant obtaining DNA from Chirila, and two days later, he attempted suicide. On Wednesday, Chirila was arrested on fugitive charges pending extradition to Hawaii to face murder charges.

The 1972 murder of 19-year-old Nancy Anderson occurred in her apartment in Waikiki, where she was stabbed 60 times. A tip to the police lead to them obtaining DNA from Chirila’s son, John Chirila, which resulted in his father becoming the prime suspect in the murder.

Chirila was charged in 1995 with kidnapping, battery, an attempt to commit sexual assault, and assault with a deadly weapon. The allegations were that Chirila became angry with his live-in girlfriend who wanted to end the relationship, he taped her hands, mouth, and legs, then held her down with a pair of scissors, attempted to sexually assault her, and threatened to kill her if she moved. The victim told police that eventually, Chirila let her go to a restaurant to meet with a friend.

Those charges were dismissed in Nevada and Chirila didn’t even have to make an initial appearance in court. The District Attorney’s office in Washoe County did their own investigation, and with Chirila’s attorney, Ed Basl, it was mutually agreed that charges should have not been filed. Not only was it decided that Chirila should not have to appear in the courtroom or mount a defense at all, they also decided to dismiss it with prejudice and seal the case, too.

In 1995, Basl told the Reno Gazette-Journal:

“They (the district attorney’s office) completed the investigation. Everyone was in agreement that this case should not have been filed, should be dismissed, in fact, should be dismissed with prejudice, and it was, and the records were sealed.”

Washoe County Assistant District Attorney John Helzer said:

“We dismissed the case and are not pursuing it. We don’t think there’s a case there worth pursuing.”

Helzer served as Washoe County Assistant District Attorney under Dick Gammick from 1995 until Jan 2015.

8 News Now reported Chirila to have been a federal witness in a case dealing with Mustang Ranch brothel, which was seized by the IRS and sold for owed taxes in 1990. The case alleged a scheme where the former brothel owner, Joe Conforte, hid assets and bought the brothel back through a shell company, A.G.E. Corp., that Chirila was president of. Chirila went on to sue Conforte for damages alleging that Conforte retaliated for his government cooperation by demoting and then firing him. Conforte is presumed to be hiding somewhere in South America. Chirila was not prosecuted for his role.

This author notes that Chirila worked in the Department of Taxation in the NV Attorney General’s office under Democrat Attorney General Richard Bryan after the 1972 murder of Anderson. Bryan had been Clark County Deputy DA, a two-term assemblyman, and served two terms in the state Senate. Bryan went on to serve as a two-term Governor of Nevada from 1983-1989, and a US Senator from 1988-2001.

Chirila had an unsuccessful bid for state Supreme Court Justice in 1994. This author notes that Chirila’s bid was especially unsuccessful because he served eight days in jail ahead of the election for failure to pay over $30,000 in child support. He had previously served as Justice Noel Manoukain’s clerk during his first full term on the court.

Like Chirila, current Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles (D), who was arrested last week for murdering an investigative journalist, had a prior arrest for domestic violence. And, like, Chirila, the charges against Telles were dismissed.

Video of Telles’ 2020 arrest for domestic violence and resisting a public officer was released Thursday.

Journalist Killed
AP Photo/John Locher

Telles seems intoxicated in the video and says, “You guys just want to take me down because I’m a public official.”

The case was closed last year after Telles was ordered to take a “corrective thinking” course and to stay out of trouble. Telles was removed from a state board he was appointed to by Governor Steve Sisolak (D) on Friday, but remains a sitting county official.

With two murder arrests implicating current or former Nevada officials as murderers in a week’s time, and with both defendants previously arrested on violent charges, a few realities become clear. Firstly, we have to do better for victims of domestic violence, because it’s a predictor of homicides. Secondly, Nevada’s public corruption problem is beyond the pale. Voters should aim to break up the uni-party governance that breeds a two-tier society of those who inflict dominance and those who are subjugated by it.

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