Lawyer: Former state Senate leader Atkinson to plead guilty next week

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Cathleen Allison / AP

In this May 22, 2013, file photo, state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, listens to debate on the Senate floor at the Legislative Building in Carson City.

Wed, Mar 6, 2019 (4:40 p.m.)

Former Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson is expected to plead guilty to a federal wire fraud charge Monday, his lawyer Richard Wright said.

Atkinson resigned from his post Tuesday in an emotional speech, telling lawmakers he had used campaign funds for personal use and saying he would plead guilty to the charges.

The details of the charges are also expected to be filed Monday, Wright said.

The Senate moved quickly today in approving Atkinson’s replacement.

State Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Laz Vegas, who Tuesday was approved as acting majority leader, was tabbed today as the permanent replacement. She’s the first woman majority leader in Nevada history.

State Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Reno, has taken the position of assistant majority leader and state Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas, will take Ratti’s position as co-majority whip.

The Clark County Commission will appoint a new state senator to fill Atkinson’s seat.

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