UPDATE FEB. 26: Ricki Barlow, 46, of Las Vegas, Nevada, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud Monday before U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon of the District of Nevada.
According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, Barlow was a candidate for re-election to the Las Vegas City Council in 2015, for which Barlow solicited donations from members of the Las Vegas community to his campaign, Ricki Barlow for City Council. According to Barlow’s admissions, the campaign treasurer managed the campaign finances through a bank account independent of Barlow, but Barlow maintained ultimate authority over the spending of campaign funds, including how much to pay campaign vendors.
In order to secretly divert campaign funds to himself, Barlow admitted to orchestrating a kickback scheme whereby he hired friends and associates to work as campaign vendors, submit inflated invoices at his direction, and then kick back to Barlow approximately half of their campaign paychecks, typically in the form of cash. Barlow admitted to secretly diverting $49,125 in campaign funds for his own personal use and benefit through the kickback scheme.
Barlow also admitted to accepting an additional $17,000 in cash campaign contributions that he never reported to his campaign treasurer or transmitted to the campaign. Instead, Barlow admitted that he diverted the campaign contributions for his own personal use.
Barlow admitted to causing his campaign to submit false campaign finance reports to the Nevada Secretary of State.
Sentencing is set for May 31.
UPDATE FEB. 7: The Las Vegas City Council voted Wednesday to hold a special election for Ricki Barlow's seat on March 27.
UPDATE JAN. 22: Councilman Ricki Barlow announced his resignation on Monday.
He said that he has pleaded guilty to federal charges of using campaign money for personal use in 2015.
He released his resignation letter, which details that his resignation is effective at 5 p.m. Monday.
In the letter, Barlow said, "I am deeply ashamed of my conduct leading to my decision to plead guilty to a federal felony charge, specifically, fraudulently converting campaign funds to my own personal use during my 2015 re-election campaign. That shame is as dark and abiding for me as my gladness for my City Council service is bright and enduring."
UPDATE JAN. 17: The effort to recall Councilman Ricki Barlow has failed.
13 Action News was told three people signed the request, but none of them had voted in the city's general election last year and only one voted in 2015. By law, petitioners are required to have voted in the preceding general election.
A letter of intent to recall Ricki Barlow was filed Tuesday by constituent Josh Johnson.
He says that Barlow has not done enough for Ward 5 in Las Vegas.
Councilman Ricki Barlow has served on the city council since 2007.