Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit

Harassment of the Mongols Motorcycle Club and Attempt to Circumvent the Open Records Law

Stephen Stubbs MongolsOn July 28th, Thomas Finn, the former chief of police for Boulder City NV, was ordered to pay $10,000 plus attorney’s fees to Las Vegas area attorney Stephen Stubbs. The judgment stems from a lawsuit Stubbs had filed over abuses of authority Finn had engaged in during his time as the chief of police, as well as the malicious filing of a lawsuit by Finn against Stubbs after he initiated an investigation into those abuses of authority.

All of this originates from a campaign to harass and manufacture traffic charges against the Mongols motorcycle club during a national event they were holding in Boulder City in June of 2012. Former Chief Finn instructed Boulder City police officers to figure out any reason they could to stop and cite or arrest members of the Mongols. He also sent a letter to Judge Victor Miller, the sitting judge in Boulder City, informing him of their plans to harass the Mongols and asking that he not allow plea deals for any charges resulting from that harassment campaign.

In addition, on June 11th of 2012 Finn sent an e-mail to Boulder City police officers asking them to delete all emails related to the intentional harassment of the Mongols. That e-mail explicitly stated that they should do so in order to avoid releasing them in the event that a public records request was filed. This, of course, was a violation of the Nevada Destruction of Public Records Statute (NRS 239.230).

After Stephen Stubbs, who represents the Mongols, received a copy of that email anonymously, he initiated an investigation against Finn with the Boulder City Council and Nevada Attorney General’s Office. As a result of that investigation, Finn was fired as the Boulder City Police Chief, although he was not charged with a crime because, unbeknownst to him, all city emails are backed up on a separate hard drive and the emails he ordered to be deleted (and that were in fact deleted) were able to be recovered.

In other words, a loophole saved him from being punished for the crime he actually committed. Not that people should expect anything more than a whitewash of crimes by the police from Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

Stephen Stubbs Vs. Former Boulder City Chief Thomas Finn

Thomas Finn Boulder City Police ChiefSubsequent to Stubbs’ initiation of the investigation that eventually led to his firing, Finn began engaging in a series of retaliatory acts that included wrongful use of confidential information, as well as filing a false and malicious lawsuit against him relating to the anonymous source of the email instructing officers to delete evidence of his campaign to harass the Mongols.

After acquiring a laptop belonging to Stubbs and containing personal, confidential information belonging to Stubbs, as well as his clients, from Lisa Lemley, a former employee with Stubbs’ law firm, Finn began writing to the FBI, Nevada State Bar, and IRS in failed attempts to compel those agencies to investigate him for fraud and money laundering. All of those allegations were subsequently found to be without any merit.

Next Finn filed a lawsuit against Stubbs, the city attorney, and two members of the Boulder City Council. Ironically enough (in light of his own participation in the theft of the laptop belonging to Stubbs), the lawsuit was based on the contention that the email in which he instructed police officers to illegally destroy evidence of their intent to harass the Mongols was confidential information that had been acquired illegally. This lawsuit was quickly dismissed on anti-SLAPP grounds.

Stephen Stubbs also had filed a series of lawsuits himself on behalf of the Mongols and Stray Cats motorcycle clubs, as well as the Nevada Confederation of Clubs, over the harassment by Finn and Boulder City Police.

On July 30th, Clark County District Judge Pro Tempore Barbara Johnston ruled that Finn’s lawsuit was filed as retaliation for his firing as police chief and that he had abused his authority in order to acquire Stubbs’ personal laptop and by using it to try to initiate investigations against him by the FBI, Nevada State Bar, and IRS. As part of that ruling Stephen Stubbs  was awarded $10,000 in punitive damages plus legal fees, which could amount to as much as $50,000.

In that ruling, Judge Johnston stated that Finn’s lawsuit against Stubbs and his co-defendants was clearly filed in retribution for the investigation of Finn’s own misconduct. In addition, she states that Finn’s obtaining of Stubbs personal laptop and the “subversive and probably illegal use of the data on it” represents “outrageous conduct, with a conscious disregard” for the impact his false accusations would have and “malice aforethought.”

Judge Johnston further concludes that Finn’s attempts to initiate an investigation against Stubbs by the IRS, FBI, and Nevada State Bar were “oppressive and despicable conduct that subjected Stubbs to cruel and unjust hardship with a conscious disregard of the rights of Mr. Stubbs.”line-banner

Obviously, it shouldn’t be hard to see who is (very much) in the wrong in this whole affair. Former Chief Thomas Finn is the prototypical Las Vegas area corrupt politician and the head of a prototypical Las Vegas area police department that are well known for having no regard for rights or the actual law. By all rights, Finn should actually be facing charges for his criminal acts of misconduct before and after his firing, but expecting Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson to go after the many corrupt politicians or police in Las Vegas is just setting yourself up for a disappointment.

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About Kelly W. Patterson

a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who's been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He's also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes. ____________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Kelly at these social networks; Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

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18 Responses to “Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit”

  1. RadicalDude August 16, 2015 at 2:20 am #

    Nice. This is how you do it. You sue them personally and go for punitive damages. Their municipal indemnifications normally do not cover punitive damages. This means the cop defendant is ordered to pay the 10 grand rather than the tax “constituents” so to speak.

  2. Animosity4U August 16, 2015 at 2:31 am #

    Need to start suing the police union.

  3. DeadPigGoodPig August 16, 2015 at 4:24 am #

    Typical pig.
    “oppressive and despicable conduct that subjected Stubbs to cruel and unjust hardship with a conscious disregard of the rights of Mr. Stubbs.”
    Just replace Mr. Stubbs with any name you like.

  4. Yomammaaho August 16, 2015 at 5:20 am #

    Interesting. A judge actually siding with justice.

    • RadicalDude August 16, 2015 at 11:54 am #

      Once in a while. Most of them actually believe in their own narcissistic bs that they are the saviors of humanity so their conscience has to make them do it “right” some of the time otherwise their narcissistic self- image feels threatened.

  5. Common Sense August 16, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    Seems someone burned the chief by the email, such is life. “…. the collective bargaining unit comprised of officers and sergeants voted 15-7 to oust Finn…” and “…called a toxic leadership environment and lack of accountability by Finn and police Capt. Vincent Albowicz.”

    “…Finn was ordered to pay Stubbs’ attorneys’ fees of $15,760. Finn said he will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. I am very confident that we are going to prevail in the Supreme Court,” he said…” “…Stubbs said he also plans to seek an additional $47,000 in attorney fees….”

    “…Stubbs, who was charged in February in connection with submitting fraudulent guilty plea Agreements involving clients in two separate courts, has agreed to plead guilty in the case. Chief Deputy District attorney J. P. Raman said Stubbs agreed to plead guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of unlawful notarization of signature by a notary public. Felony charges of offering a false instrument for filing or record will be dismissed, according to both Raman and defense lawyer Damien Sheets. Stubbs, who is a notary, admits to misunderstanding the law regarding the notarization of signatures, Sheets said…”

    • 94c2500 August 17, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

      Are they saying that the police union is allowed to vote on whether or not to fire a corrupt cop? The union has the power to keep a thug employed as an officer after he clearly violated laws? Sure they chose to fire him but it shouldn’t be their choice, it’s a direct conflict of interest.

  6. Film The Police Always August 16, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    I hope to hear in the news that this fired chief and his family members were slaughtered by the Mongols in retaliation for the harassment.

    • simpleton August 16, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

      From what I understand, the Mongols are not a group to be fucked with. This could very well end badly for Mr. Finn.

  7. simpleton August 16, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    Why do I get the feeling this ain’t over. Former Chief Finn…..what a dick.

  8. John Dickinson August 17, 2015 at 6:56 am #

    I really hope Finn learned something from this. I doubt he did, as his ego and arrogance will most likely prevent it… But I cling to hope that he becomes a better person from this, not a more bitter person.

  9. 94c2500 August 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    When corrupt officers are held personally financially liable like this, on a regular basis, it may begin to serve as a deterrent. This seems like a cut and dried case, why isn’t this fired officer being prosecuted? That really needs to happen as well.

    Any non-officer who had committed such crimes would face aggressive prosecution and definitely serve prison time.

  10. grandmatofour August 21, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    .

    Apparently none of you have heard the latest development in court this past Tuesday. This and all judgments have been vacated. Stubbs is not only an incompetent attorney, he was sanctioned for conspiring with another attorney to commit fraud. Attorney’s fees have been awarded to Chief Finn and Stubbs will be investigated by the Nevada bar, not to mention the involvement of the FBI and IRS. Who’s the dick now?

  11. Laurie August 28, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    I love how you can just type anything you want and people believe such bs. Stubbs is a liar.. And his propaganda machine is being shut down as we speak by actual judges. Not judges who have been let go due to mental health issues such as Ms. Johnston. Do some research before you by this crap. Maybe the IRS and FBI were informed because this POS Stubbs has actually defrauded everyone, including the bikers.. And Karma is a “you-know-what”.. If the bikers go after anyone, it won’t be Finn, it will be Stubbs!

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