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3/8/2006 Source of Title - reprinted with permission

Detectives from the Las Vegas Police Department searched both the home and office of Clark County's Recorder Frances Deane on March 7, 2006. The searches followed allegations of misconduct and fraudulent appropriations by the county officer. Officers were seen leaving both properties with boxes that allegedly contained seized documents.

According to an article in The Las Vegas Review-Journal, police refused to elaborate on the allegations facing the county recorder. Yet, sources familiar with the investigation indicated to the newspaper that police suspect her of copying county documents and then selling them to local businesses.

Although the documents would have all been accessible as part of the public record, certain documents can be of greater interest as some business may benefit from learning when others file certain documents, such as default notices.

"If you can get to the person in default before anyone else can, it can give you a distinct advantage to make money on the default by offering an out to the person," said Gil Eisner, who plans on running against Deane in the upcoming November election. "If someone could get advance information, it might prevent the issue from going into the public domain or to the stage of a public auction."

Deane agreed to relinquish her position until the investigation has been completed, according to a statement from Thom Reilly, the Clark County Manager. Her office will be overseen in the interim by Charles Harvey, the assistant recorder.

The investigation into Deane's actions has been underway for approximately four months, added Mike McClary, the deputy chief of the Las Vegas police department. Deane has held the position since she was elected in November 2002.

According to various published reports, Deane was found guilty of ethics violations in March 2004 when the Nevada Ethics Commission's panel found merit to seven ethics allegations lodged against her. At that time, she agreed to terms of a deal and acknowledged one willful violation, paying a $5,000 penalty. The violation related to charges that she developed a plan to start an Internet company that would sell documents that could be obtained free from her office.

Source of Title will continue to follow this matter and provide follow-up as more information becomes available.

© 2006, Source of Title

Source of Title launched in September 2002 as a directory to help title industry professionals locate independent settlement service providers. Since then, Source of Title has added forums and full-service news content targeted at industry professionals.

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