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Originally published Monday, January 8, 2018 at 05:59a.m.

For decades Riccardi’s Auto & Truck Repair on Route 66 near Valle Vista has serviced vehicles for many residents and has served the community well. Now, Vic Riccardi finds himself jailed for the “crime” of trying to save taxpayers some money.

A local NACFD vehicle suffered some mechanical trouble. For whatever obscure reason, repairs are done in Boulder or Henderson or Las Vegas. To save time and money, Vic suggested it be examined at his repair shop – the expense of towing it over to Nevada would be prohibitive, the cost of required repairs could be astronomical, and it might be out of service for weeks. As it was, costs were minimal ($1,357) and it was back in service in a few days. But, people with a vendetta against Vic decided they were going to punish him with a felony “conflict of interest” charge. He was arrested and began the process of waiting for court dates. He was (probably) never advised that he was prohibited from taking part in any NACFD business while under arraignment for this charge. Meanwhile, a vote came up on an NACFD issue and Vic cast a ballot. WHAM! Throw his carcass into jail, without bond, for committing TWO class 6 felonies – (1) saving taxpayers some money and (2) voting.

In the Miner’s Friday, December 29 issue, the chief deputy for the county attorney’s office is quoted as saying that in cases such as this defendants must be held without bond. “We do ... that routinely ... drug offenses ... burglaries ... They ... shouldn’t be treated any differently than the average defendant.” Except when they are. On page five of that same issue is an article about an admitted killer of two men who had one charge dropped because of consideration for his feelings. So, a killer’s charge is dropped but a citizen believing he was being helpful is jailed without bond. And what about Diane Richards’ theft of about $1.1 million from the city over a seven-year period? Out on “own recognizance” while awaiting trial. Really?

Couldn’t the judge have sent Vic’s case back to counsel for negotiation?

D.B. Mitchell

Mohave County resident, tax payer and voter

Valle Vista