The evolving, often hilarious, situation comedy starring Las Vegas biker rights lawyer Stephen “Bowtie” Stubbs and Boulder City, Nevada Police Chief Thomas Finn is starting to look like a hit. Why Hollywood production company Bischoff Hervey Entertainment decided to do a “reality” series about an alleged San Diego motorcycle club called the Laffing Devils instead of just following Stubbs around for a few weeks remains a mystery.
Stubbs is the esteemed council suing the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the North Las Vegas Police Department and numerous individual cops in federal court on behalf of the Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs. He also represented the legal interests of the Mongols Motorcycle Club during their national run in Boulder City last June. In case you missed earlier episodes of this farce you can catch up here , here and here.
Stubbs has apparently caught Chief Finn red-handed in several crimes and misdemeanors including destroying government records to cover the steps he took to harass bikers. Before the Mongols arrived last summer Finn was arrogant enough to write Municipal Court Judge Victor Miller and City Attorney Dave Olsen that, “There will be several dozen law enforcement agencies working in BC this weekend for the Mongols event. We are taking a zero tolerance approach with them and all the agencies will be citing them into our municipal court of ordinance violations, traffic violations and other misdemeanors. Is there a specific date you want us to use for a court appearance?
“Also, as part of our zero tolerance approach, all the law enforcement agencies have asked if our court and prosecutor would consider ‘no deals’ when the misdemeanors are adjudicated. Doing so would make it clear to the ‘Mongol Miscreants’ that Boulder City does not tolerate bad behavior.”
Stubbs has taken a zero tolerance approach with Finn. Some residents of Boulder City have noticed. A group called Veterans In Politics International called for “an independent investigation into possible felony crimes committed by Boulder City Police Chief Thomas Finn.” At a meeting tonight the Boulder City Council will discuss whether to ask the Nevada Attorney General to investigate Finn.
Destroyed My Career
On November 8, according to Stubbs, “Sean Flanagan, Chief Finn’s attorney, called me…and told me to shut up or face a defamation lawsuit. I told him where he could put his empty threats. Can you say SLAPP?” SLAPP is an acronym for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” SLAPPs are lawsuits that are filed to intimidate or censor critics of public officials by forcing those critics to defend themselves against the lawsuit until they abandon their criticism. Nevada has an anti-SLAPP law and its effectiveness is a matter of debate among Silver State lawyers. Apparently Finn and his attorney think the Nevada law is toothless.
Because on November 21, Flanagan did sue Bowtie Stubbs on behalf of Finn. The suit alleges that Stubbs defamed the Chief and asks for “in excess of $10,000” in general damages, more than ten grand in special damages, punitive damages, attorneys fees and costs.
That same day Chief Finn sounded less than confidant when he talked Jack Johnson of the Boulder City Review. “It (Stubbs criticism) has really just destroyed my career,” Finn complained. “I was planning on staying here another three to five years, but it’s quite obvious I’ll be gone.”
It’s possible Finn might be gone sooner and longer than he expects. In three paragraphs of his lawsuit (paragraphs 41, 42 and 43), Finn describes how he listened in on a phone call from Stubbs to City Attorney Dave Olsen and tape recorded it.
Stubbs describes the incident like this: “Chief Finn secretly taped a conversation between (himself) and Dave Olsen. During the taped conversation, Stephen Stubbs called Dave Olsen on Dave Olsen’s cell phone and Dave allowed Chief Finn to listen in on the conversation where I implored Mr. Olsen to investigate Chief Finn’s other felonies. Our telephone conversation was recorded without my knowledge or consent. In Nevada, it is a Category D Felony to record a telephone conversation without all parties consenting. Not only did Chief Finn commit another felony, he admitted to it in a court document under penalty of perjury.”
In hindsight, Finn probably should have just let the Mongols enjoy their summer vacation.