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Richard N. Velotta

Attorney Joe Brown resigns from Nevada Gaming Commission

24 April 2015

Las Vegas attorney Joe Brown, known as much for his gentlemanly demeanor as his status as one of Southern Nevada’s premier lawyers, resigned from the five-member Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday for personal reasons.

A member of the Gaming Commission since 2008, Brown served the commission when it considered the licensing of MGM Resorts International’s CityCenter project, the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, the SLS Las Vegas and during Station Casinos’ and Caesars Entertainment’s bankruptcy protection cases.

He said he’s leaving to address additional professional obligations with his Fennemore Craig Jones Vargas law firm and to send more time with his family.

Gov. Brian Sandoval is expected to accept the resignation Friday and begin the process of appointing a replacement.

“My decision to resign from the Nevada Gaming Commission was not made without some amount of regret,” Brown told fellow commissioners at the end of Thursday’s meeting. “It has been my honor to serve on many state, federal, charitable and professional boards and commissions throughout my career, but none more important than my work with the commission.”

Brown said he would continue to practice in the areas of government affairs, administrative and business law.

Brown announced his plans at the end of Thursday’s monthly commission meeting.

His four board colleagues and Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett showered him with congratulatory remarks and stories reflecting Brown’s gentle personality.

“I have had the privilege of serving with Joe Brown, first on the Nevada State Athletic Commission and now on the Nevada Gaming Commission,” said Tony Alamo, who chairs the commission and joined the board the same year as Brown.

“Having worked with Joe for more than a decade, I have seen what a huge asset he has been to the state of Nevada,” Alamo said. “His hard work and dedication have obviously been noted in everything that we have accomplished. I will miss Joe and I know he will move on to bigger and better things.”

Board member John Moran Jr., also an attorney, recollected how he and Brown have known each other for more than 40 years and that even in an adversarial profession, he always knew Brown to be “professional and a gentleman.”

“One of the joys of working on this commission is working with him,” added Commissioner Pat Mulroy. “I wish I could get you to recant your decision,” she said to him.

Commissioner Randolph Townsend applauded Brown’s dedication to military veterans. In addition to serving on the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance — formerly the Nevada Development Authority, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Nature Conservancy and the Desert Research Institute, Brown has worked with the Nellis Air Force Base Support Team and the Nevada Military Support Alliance.

“Your commitment to our military personnel and our veterans has been exemplary,” Townsend said. “You’ve never wavered in your commitment to those who have served their country.”