In hindsight, Boulder City, Nevada Police Chief Thomas Finn probably should have just bought the Mongols a couple rounds of drinks when they held their national run in his city last June. Instead Finn decided to bully the club out of town as flagrantly as possible so its members would never come back.
Before the club arrived, Finn wrote 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.”
A few days later Finn told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “They came and they went and good riddance. I hope they never come back.”
Now Finn has come and will soon be gone and will never come back. Finn will be fired next month. He may be out of a job as soon as April 16.
Finn has lost confrontation after confrontation with a lawyer named Stephen “Bowtie” Stubbs. About the time the Mongols came to town Stubbs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs that alleged numerous incidents of illegal police harassment of bikers in Clark County. The suit says the bikers “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 millions. Stubbs also represented the Mongols during their visit to Boulder City. Stubbs thought the welcome Finn extended to the black and white club epitomized what his lawsuit was about.
Apparently, Finn thought he could just stonewall and bully Stubbs into submission. Instead Stubbs accused Finn of several crimes including destroying evidence. Finn sued Stubbs and several other critics and quickly lost. In the meantime, as a gun control debate engrossed the national media, an audit discovered that Finn’s department had lost an AR-15.
On January 16, the day after Finn lost his defamation lawsuit against Stubbs, he went on medical leave because the stress of being disobeyed raised his blood pressure to dangerous levels. He now owes Stubbs $17,000 and Stubbs is already garnishing his pay. Finn also sued a Boulder City officer named Dan Jennings and he now owes Jennings $6,000. Another officer named Doug Beekman has filed an age discrimination complaint against the soon to be former Boulder City Chief. Finn can afford to pay his debts. His annual salary amounts to $146,848. His benefits package is worth $38,308 so his total annual compensation is more than $185,000. Finn has held the job since 2006.
Finn is still complaining that he has been treated unfairly. He filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in which he claims he has been treated unfairly because he is Catholic. Yesterday he filed four ethics complaints with the Nevada Attorney General accusing Boulder City’s Mayor, the City Manager and a City Councilman of illegal behavior.
He told the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, KLAS, “I’ve got 35 years without a verbal reprimand, no discipline in my file. I’ve never been charged with doing anything illegal, not even a policy violation. For them to now destroy my reputation in this way, and take pleasure in doing so, I’m just standing up. I am not going to let that happen.”
Finn will probably file another suit against Boulder City when he is officially fired. The city can’t legally get rid of him until April 16 after Finn’s medical leave ends. But last week the city did hire his replacement.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief Bill Conger is now the Boulder City acting police chief. He may or may not be a nicer cop than Finn but he must be smarter. City Manager David Fraser announced Conger’s appointment, saying “He will exercise the full duties and authorities of chief of police.”
You can see Finn’s interview with KLAS, preceded by an annoying advertisement, below.