Former County Recorder Denies Corruption ChargesOctober 07, 2006
Former Nevada Clark County Recorder Frances Deane pleaded not guilty on October 02, 2006 to corruption charges that could put her behind bars for decades.
Deane, 42, was stripped of her elected position last month in a ruling by Nevada District Judge Doug Herndon ordering her leave the office of Clark County Recorder. Judge Herndon called the ruling a daunting and difficult decision.
Conrad Claus, Deane's lawyer, told reporters with the Las Vegas Sun he intends to fight the 18 felony charges surrounding Deane's alleged sale of 32 years of real property records filed with her office. The Clark County Recorder's office is responsible for receiving and filing more than 5,000 documents daily.
Prosecutors allege Deane pocketed at least $80,000 by selling public documents to Monty Miller, owner of American Document Company, and illegally selling computer discs with county records to Miller and California businessman Joseph Gekko. Both men are cooperating with the prosecution.
Gekko told police they paid Deane cash for documents that amounted to one terabyte, or about 60 million pages, of information, according to the police report.
Gekko told detectives he agreed to pay $100,000 for the documents. On two occasions, Gekko planted $8,000 cash in stuffed lions that were delivered to Deane,
Police believe Deane accepted more than $140,000 in cash, including payments stuffed into teddy bears that were located at her home. She also allegedly forced other county employees to help in her alleged scheme, which raised suspicions in her office, suspicions that were confirmed in March when detectives raided the recorder's office and found evidence that Deane was hoarding sensitive materials behind her locked door.Deane was recently hired by The Las Vegas Tribune to act as a reporter and photographer for the small paper. The newspaper has been a strong supporter of Deane since the allegations about her alleged impropriety surfaced, according to a report from KVBC-3.
The newspaper's editor, Rolando Larraz, noted that while Deane faces allegations, she has not been found guilty of anything.
Deane is currently writing articles for the newspaper on a weekly basis and has penned features on wedding trends and show horses. Larraz added that the scope of her articles will expand as she gains experience as a reporter.
Charles Harvey, who previously acted as the county's assistant recorder is filling the position Deane was forced to vacate. He will fill the role until the winner of the November election takes office in January 2007.
Deane's trial is set for April 30, 2007