Former Supreme Court Justice Abbi Silver to replace Ogonna Brown on Nevada Gaming Commission

April 18, 2024 8:29 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
April 18, 2024 8:29 PM

Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo Thursday appointed former state Supreme Court Justice Abbi Silver to fill a vacancy on the Nevada Gaming Commission by replacing Commissioner Ogonna Brown.

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“Justice Silver is one of Nevada’s brightest visionaries and trailblazers and I’m confident that she will greatly enhance the work of the Commission in her new role,” Lombardo said in a press release.

In the same release, Silver said she’s honored to be appointed to the Commission.

“I’m grateful to Governor Lombardo for entrusting me with this dynamic role, and I look forward to serving our state,” Silver said.

Brown was appointed by then-Gov. Steve Sisolak in July 2020 and announced Thursday at the end of the monthly Commission meeting that she turned down an offer by Lombardo to serve another four-year term. Instead, she plans to focus on her law practice as a partner with Lewis Roca. She works primarily in the areas of business litigation and bankruptcy, focusing on creditors’ rights. She was also recently appointed to the Legal Aid Board and was certified as an AAA arbitrator.

“It’s been a true pleasure and I enjoyed every minute of it,” Brown said. “It’s been a privilege to serve the state of Nevada and with all of you.”

Brown thanked Gov. Sisolak for the opportunity. When she applied at the beginning of the pandemic, she was worried that with the courthouses closed, she’d have nothing to do.

“It’s been the busiest time of my life and I enriched myself by learning about applicants from all over the world and meeting people who are way smarter than me and can teach me so much,” Brown said. “The people I’ve met, not just sitting next to me, but watching once a month on the Board level, have been so impressive — investigators, attorneys and staff, and IT. It’s a well-oiled machine and the gold standard is well and thriving here.”

Commission Chair Jennifer Togliatti said it’s been a pleasure to serve with Brown, whom she called “so smart and a very good lawyer in high demand. The Commission will miss her financial expertise and willingness to ask really hard questions of folks. You do it with grace and we will miss that.”

Commissioner Rosa Solis-Rainey called Brown “a sunshine to be with” because of her smile. She went to law school with Brown. “I appreciate the questions you post and do it in a gracious manner and I rarely have questions after you’ve asked all of your questions of applicants,” Solis-Rainey said.

Commissioner George Markantonis said it’s been great to work with Brown and that he’s learned a lot. He said he’ll miss her leaning over and “whacking” him when he said the wrong thing.

Commissioner Brian Krolicki said it’s been a pleasure to serve with Brown. He said what she brought to the meetings beyond professionalism was her attitude, lighting up the room, and her thoroughness.

“I look forward to you going first, because you’re so prepared and thorough.”

Nevada Gaming Control Board member Brittnie Watkins said Brown has done a wonderful job and thanked her for showing her around after Watkins’s appointment. She praised Brown’s elegance, balance, and wit.

Board member George Assad said he will miss her “sound judgment, legal acumen, and bright smile.”

Brown called Abbi Silver her mentor, “who is absolutely amazing,” and that the Commissioners will be pleased to work with and learn from her.