A Courtroom Reunion for Strippergate

It was a reunion of sorts in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller.

It’s been years since players in the infamous 2005 Strippergate trial were together. On March 5, some of them reconvened over a request by former strip club owner Michael Galardi to end three-years of supervised release early.

Galardi’s argument: He admitted guilt and offered cooperation even before he and elected officials were charged in 2003 in the scheme to trade campaign contributions for political favors for his Cheetahs club.

He spent a year in prison from July 2007 to 2008 and about six months in a halfway house — which amounted to a year less than his original sentence and about 15 months on supervised release.

His extensive cooperation actually prolonged his ordeal. “Had he been sentenced shortly after pleading guilty, he would have completed his sentence and his supervised release long ago,” his lawyer wrote in court documents.

The government didn’t oppose the request.

Judge Miller ruled that Galardi would no longer have to report to the government, but that technically he would be on “unsupervised supervised release” until January 2012, meaning if he got into trouble, he could be sent back to prison.

Galardi is a single father, raising his two children in San Diego County. He is no longer involved in strip clubs, and he has had the same job since he got out of prison. He was a model prisoner and has complied with the terms of his release.

“He has learned every lesson that was taught and has followed the rules as completely as anybody could ever expect,” said his lawyer, Bob Rose, who declined to disclose where Galardi lives and works. “He’s happy to be out of Las Vegas and raising his kids.”

– KELLY THORNTON

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