Charges against former Pahranagat Valley football coach and C.O. Bastian High School principal Ken Higbee have been permanently dropped according to Higbee’s lawyer, Bret Whipple of Las Vegas.
However, a condition of the agreement, Whipple’s office reported, was that a nondisclosure clause be used to not discuss the details, “So, we can’t put any information forward.”
The charges were dropped “with prejudice,” meaning they have been dismissed permanently, and can’t be brought back to court.
A Dec. 5 official court order in Meadow Valley Justice Court, signed by Justice of the Peace Nola Holton, reads: “The State having filed Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice with the Court on November 29, 2018, and requesting the Court to dismiss all charges in this case with prejudice, with no opposition from the Defendant, and good cause appearing. It is Hereby ordered that case No. 18CR41 is hereby dismissed with prejudice.”
The original charges against Higbee were dismissed April 19, 2018, by 7th Judicial Court Judge Steve Dubrescu, who stated in his ruling, “The court has read the entire transcript [of the preliminary hearings] and that items entered into evidence, “were submitted without proper authentication or foundation.”
Dubrescu concluded in a footnote to his ruling, “The true irony is that by failing to properly present its case, the State has wasted an enormous amount of judicial resources.”
After a lengthy investigation by the state, Higbee had been charged on 225 counts in April 2017 relating to misuse of state funds. Whipple said at the time, as reported in the Record, “In my opinion, there was just no evidence to support the allegations.”
Former Lincoln County District Attorney Daniel Hooge told the Record in April 2018 he did plan to refile the charges, but did not give a time as to when he might do so. Hooge left the district attorney’s office this past summer to become state bar chief in Las Vegas. Current District Attorney Dylan Frehner declined comment.