The legal fight between Las Vegas attorney Stephen Stubbs and Boulder City Police Chief Thomas Finn got a little more interesting today when Stubbs filed a motion in Clark County Court that accuses Finn of yet another felony. This time Finn seems to have violated Nevada Revised Statute 199.520, which translates into English as “disclosure of information to the subject of an investigation” or obstructing justice.
The crime is a Class D felony and in Clark County it is typically punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Realistically, Finn could wind up doing six months in the Clark County Detention Center if he is convicted of the crime.
In public documents attached to this ballooning case, Finn is described as someone who “just pisses on the Constitution.” Stubbs is described as “some chappy-lipped little mouth breather (who) thinks he can make a name for himself.”
In yet another part of the paper blizzard Finn is “a police administrator who has had nothing but a sterling reputation throughout his entire professional career.”
In a phone conversation that Stubbs alleges was illegally recorded last October, Stubbs calls Finn’s behavior as “a definition of cluster fuck.”
Where Did This Come From
The group love began when Stubbs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs that alleges numerous incidents of illegal police harassment of bikers in Clark County. The suit argues that the complainants “were willfully, maliciously, and intentionally prevented from associating and/or assembling without justification or compelling state interest as a result of their status as a motorcycle club or motorcycle club member.” Damages in the suit could amount to more than $5 million.
About the time Stubbs filed that suit the Mongols Motorcycle Club held their National Run in Boulder City. Stubbs represents the Mongols in Nevada.
Finn has openly admitted that he intended to give the Mongols a hard time for buying hotel rooms in his city and Stubbs thought that conduct typified what the federal law suit was about. Finn encouraged Boulder City officials and employees to destroy public documents before Stubbs could subpoena them. Stubbs sought to have Finn investigated and Finn filed a defamation lawsuit November 21 against Stubbs as well as the Boulder City Attorney, a City Councilman and two police sergeants. In that suit Finn admits to illegally eavesdropping on a conversation between Stubbs and City Attorney Dave Olsen. The police chief asks for “in excess of $10,000” in general damages; more than $10,000 in special damages; punitive damages, attorneys fees and costs.
Stubbs then filed a motion to dismiss Finn’s suit under Nevada’s anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or anti-SLAPP statute. 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.
Finn filed a motion opposing Stubb’s motion on December 19. Finn attached a copy of Stubb’s complaint against him. In the motion filed today, Stubbs argues that Finn obstructed justice by gaining access to Stubb’s complaint.
The Boulder City Council asked the Nevada Division of Investigation to investigate Finn’s conduct about a month ago.
Finn has been the Boulder City Chief of Police since 2006. He told reporters last month the dustup with Stubbs had “destroyed” his career. “I was planning on staying here another three to five years,” he said, “but it’s quite obvious I’ll be gone.”
There will be a hearing in the defamation suit January 4.