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Trial of Former UMC Director Begins | Crime

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Trial of Former UMC Director Begins
Crime, Health

LAS VEGAS -- The trial is underway in the felony theft and misconduct trial of the former director of UMC.

Lacy Thomas is accused of steering contracts to friends and associates after he was hired in 2004. Prosecutors say Thomas' activities cost the county millions of dollars at the financially-troubled county-run hospital

Thomas was fired in 2007 and charged afterwards. The jury started hearing testimony Tuesday.

During their opening statement, the prosecution outlined five contracts they say Thomas gave to his Chicago business buddies. The DA says Thomas paid his friends companies taxpayer dollars to do work that county employees could have done for no extra charge. Thomas allegedly lied to detectives when they confronted him about these allegations.

Defense attorney Dan Albregts says Thomas is innocent and is being targeted for the county's own failures. They claim the companies Thomas hired for IT and Medicaid collection consulting were the best. The defense further claims the county counsel and county manager who will testify against Thomas are just trying to hide their own mismanagement of UMC.

Boxes and boxes of evidence was taken when Thomas was fired in 2007.

The judge told jurors to to expect a week and half long trial.

Crime, Health