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December 03, 2008

Reid rival indicted

Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, one of the top Republicans looking to challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010, has been indicted on four felony counts.

Krolicki hinted last month that it looked like he would be indicted, and said he was targeted as part of a partisan witchhunt.

From the Associated Press:

A grand jury has indicted Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, a Republican hoping to unseat U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on charges stemming from his management of a multibillion-dollar college savings program in his previous job as Nevada's state treasurer.

The Clark County grand jury indictment handed up Wednesday names Krolicki and Kathryn Besser, his former chief of staff in the treasurer's office. They face arraignments Dec. 18 in Clark County District Court.

The indictment accuses Krolicki of two counts of misappropriation and falsification of accounts by a public officer, and two counts of misappropriation by a treasurer. The four counts all are felonies, and each carries a possible sentence of up to four years in prison.

Besser faces two counts, including being a principal to misappropriation and falsification of accounts and being a principal to misappropriation by a treasurer.

The indictments, which don't allege any funds were missing, were sought by Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.

The first-term lieutenant governor quickly called a news conference Wednesday to deny the charges. He said the indictment was the result of "a secretive process" that was unfairly orchestrated by the attorney general.

"I can now begin defending myself in the fairness of an open courtroom and can clearly demonstrate that these accusations are false," he said.

Krolicki, 47, was the first Republican to announce his plans to run against Reid, who is up for re-election in 2010. He has said he was targeted for political reasons by Masto—and that Reid was involved.