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Lt. Governor Seeks to Disqualify Prosecutor

LAS VEGAS (CN) - Nevada's lieutenant governor, facing felony charges of mishandling a multibillion-dollar college savings program during his term as treasurer, squared off against the state's attorney general in an attempt to disqualify her from prosecuting him.

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki filed a motion in Clark County Court late Monday arguing that Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto should be removed based on alleged conflicts of interests and a violation of due process.

Krolicki said he relied on the advice of several current and former deputy attorneys general when overseeing the $3 billion program, which was created to help parents and students pay for college.

"If the attorney general's office were permitted to wear the hats of prosecutor, percipient witness and legal adviser, Mr. Krolicki's due process rights and public trust in a fair justice system would be seriously impaired," the motion stated.

Krolicki has pleaded innocent to all charges. He was indicted last December, along with his then chief-of-staff Kathryn Besser, after a 2007 audit suggested that he side-stepped budget controls and spent more money on the program's ad campaign than was OK'd by the state Legislature.

Critics have said the ad campaigns, in which Krolicki appeared, were akin to him running state-funded campaign commercials.

None of the program's money was missing.

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