LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover-Up of Illegal Data Searches

Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura

Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura

With the amount of corruption that takes place on a regular basis within Las Vegas area governments, it can be hard to stand out. However, (soon to be former) Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura and his deputy constables have actually managed to distinguish themselves among the roll call of corrupt officials in Clark County politics and even among the notoriously unaccountable members of Las Vegas law enforcement.

Bonaventura‘s latest scandal involves his cover up of the improper and illegal use of the Lexis Nexis “Accurint” database service to look up personal information on porn actresses by Deputy Chief Dean Lauer. Currently, Lauer serves as Bonaventura’s second in command within the troubled Constables office, which is scheduled to be eliminated in January after a rather extensive string of scandals.

The Accurint service, for which taxpayers are charged $800 a month for the required subscription fees, is intended to be used by law enforcement employees in order to conduct research on personal information during the course of an investigation. Instead, apparently Deputy Chief Lauer used it to conduct research on his favorite porn stars, including Traci Lords, Porche Lynne, Kayla Kleevage, Lisa Sparxxx and Gianna Michaels among the 16 current and former porn actresses accessed via his password and log-in info. A subsequent investigation was unable to find any legitimate law enforcement purpose for those searches.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, this incriminating information was presented to Constable Bonaventura by an internal affairs investigator:

Capt. Hadi Sadjadi, the office’s internal affairs investigator, presented the information at the meeting with Bonaventura, Lauer and other senior officers. On a recording of the meeting obtained by the Review-Journal, Bonaventura wasn’t interested in knowing anything at all about the unauthorized searches done between March and December 2012.

“I need you to pull out all that stuff you got on Dean for running the Accurint stuff because, you know, I believe in my heart that he didn’t do it because he’s addicted to porno or something like that,” Bonaventura is heard saying. “I know somebody mentioned it was 3 in the morning or whatever. … I don’t know. I don’t even want to know. I don’t want to f—-ing know. Whatever you got, I want you to bring it in here and put it in the pile.”

It soon went beyond a simple lack of interest in investigating a clearly improper use of department resources into an active cover up when Bonaventura ordered Capt Sadjadi to shred all of his evidence and reports relating to the unauthorized Accurint searches:

Instead of investigating the improper use of the police records database, Bonaventura ordered evidence shredded.

Instead of investigating the improper use of the police records database, Bonaventura ordered the evidence shredded.

On the recording, Sadjadi is heard responding to Bonaventura’s opening comment by asking that chairs in the office be rearranged so staffers could face each other and have a “friendly debate.”

“We’re not having a debate, Hadi,” Bonaventura responded. “We’re not having a debate. …”

“But what I want you guys to do is I’m going to leave the room,” Bonaventura said. “There’s all this stuff here. There’s a shredder right there. Take your own crap and put it in the f—-ing shredder, OK? And when I come back, I want every­body to shake hands and that’s it.”

Bonaventura’s orders were followed and his men shredded the records, current and former employees familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

Apparently, Bonaventura’s motive for sweeping this incident under the rug was, at least in some part, based on a desire to avoid yet another scandal for the Las Vegas Constable’s office, which at that point had already been abolished in a vote (which Bonaventura was attempting to contest at the time) by County Commissioners, as a result of a seemingly endless string of embarrassing and public scandals.

Bonaventura expressed concern for the future of his job, and for those of his staff.

“I don’t want no more of this infighting b—-s—-,” Bonaventura said. “We got too much at stake here. All of our jobs are on the line. Don’t you guys realize every one of our jobs are on the line?”

Bonaventura’s orders were followed and his men shredded the records, current and former employees familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

In the year since the shredding, Lauer has remained on the job. He is one of about two dozen sworn law enforcement officers in the Constable’s Office, which handles evictions and serves court papers.

This cover up shows the typical bias against accountability for law enforcement employees that is so prevalent throughout police departments across the nation and especially in Las Vegas. Further, it is a somewhat rare public glimpse into the aggressive nature with which police departments in the Las Vegas area don’t just look the other way, but actively work to ensure that their officers are never held accountable for their actions.

The improper use of the Accurint database by Lauer is, in and of itself, an illegal act that numerous cops across the country have been disciplined for committing (although usually not criminally, because laws obviously don’t apply to them). It has also become a huge potential invasion of the right to privacy with the ever increasing trend toward the collection of personal information by police and governmental agencies spurred by and justified with the September 11th terrorist attacks.

In fact, according to “Police Chief Magazine”:

Historically, officers have accessed police databases for myriad improper purposes, ranging from running the vehicle registration of an attractive motorist to seeking names and information in connection with a private investigation business.

Questions should be asked about why there aren’t better safeguards preventing unauthorized use of such a system. That is especially true in light of the growing number of reports of sexual misconduct among police officers, including those working in Las Vegas. Furthermore, the potential for the compromising of legitimate investigations and Las Vegas’ own rather long history of that type of corruption should make this type of cover-up a serious matter, worthy of its own investigation.

This shiny badge couldn't be more tarnished.

This shiny badge couldn’t be more tarnished.

The Las Vegas Constable’s Office: Corruption Defined

Of course, nobody in Las Vegas will be terribly surprised when hearing about corruption by local politicians, particularly when they are related to law enforcement. The completely nonexistent and shameful historic lack of accountability, including the recent rewarding of Jesus Arevalo, who was “fired” for murdering Stanley Gibson, with $30,000 a year in disability payments (because he is stressed out over being called a murderer after he murdered someone), has been covered pretty extensively, both here at and in the local corporate  media.

However, even in a city where cover ups, intimidation of, and retaliation against critics of the police are commonplace, Bonaventura’s Constables office has managed to outshine all of them. One of the many scandals involved a failed bid to sell a reality TV show based on their daily routines. The video, which Bonaventura proudly posted on his personal web page, was not as well received by state and county politicians, who oversee the Constables. Among other things, it featured deputies employed by the Constable’s Office cursing, pulling over and arresting motorists (technically they are allowed to do so, but it isn’t actually part of their job), and acting unprofessional, in general.

In an even worse example of the type of misconduct that has come to signify Las Vegas area police departments, Deputy Luis Rendon is being investigated for sexual harassment and animal cruelty. Rendon is accused of stalking and making unwanted sexual advances toward an 18 year old woman over the course of two months. When those attempts were rebuffed, he responded by shooting her dog. Deputy Rendon was hired in spite of several previous incidents in his background, which has been an ongoing point of criticism, along with questions about whether they are being trained properly, during Bonaventura’s term.

Of course, Constable Bonaventura has his own laundry list of incidents and controversies since taking office in 2010. This includes allegations of sexual harassment against a female deputy, demanding that deputies lie to County Commissioners about the reality TV video and then retaliating against them when they refused (which resulted in a $415,000 taxpayer funded settlement), turf wars over jurisdiction involving constables from nearby cities (in the process, he deputized two lawyers in order to avoid paying their fees after the County refused the bill), demanding kickbacks from deputies’ pay, and was himself arrested for DUI while driving home from his office. (District Attorney Steve Wolfson displayed his own well earned reputation of never holding public officials accountable by announcing he wouldn’t prosecute the case.)

Not surprisingly after all of that, Clark County Commissioners voted in March of 2013 to simply eliminate the Las Vegas Constable’s office, effective January 2015, once Bonaventura’s current term runs out. Bonaventura attempted an unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn the vote and then tried to run for a seat on the County Commission (which failed miserably during the primaries and resulted in a fraud investigation involving donations from none other than Dean Lauer, who’s illegal searches he covered-up). Even the pending dissolution of the LV Constable’s office hasn’t actually ended the constant stream of scandals, which for some reason have begun to revolve around secretly taped meetings between Boneventura and other elected officials.

Besides the one involving Bonaventura’s orders to destroy evidence of the illegal data searches, there are actually two other recorded conversations that have surfaced recently that are at best embarrassing and possibly criminal. In one, which resulted in a raid by the LVMPD on the Las Vegas Constable’s offices, Bonaventura can be heard in a phone conversation with Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins (who has his own extensive history of improprieties) in which Collins insults other commissioners and accuses several of them of being puppets controlled by Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak. In another, Bonaventura himself can be heard badmouthing Sisolak and discussing his desire to spend all of the money ($3.9 million) budgeted to the Constable’s office prior to it’s closing in retaliation for the vote.

The Las Vegas Constables office has a long and sordid history of corruption that predates even Bonaventura’s antics. It’s not likely that the constables will be missed and the fact that they could simply be voted out of existence during a time when Las Vegas leads the nation in foreclosures raises questions about whether they were needed in the first place or if it was just yet another unnecessary waste of money. However, the biggest potential drawback to the abolition of the Las Vegas Constable’s office is the fact that the LVMPD will be taking over their duties.

Outside of the slight increase in power and influence that it will give Metro, current Las Vegas Sheriff Doug Gillespie is already using it as an excuse to push for more funding and an increase in personnel within the department. In terms of potential effects on the residents of Las Vegas, having more “opportunities” to come into contact with members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department can be by itself a dangerous proposition. Constable Bonaventura’s corruption and lack of control over his employees are wasteful and embarrassing, but an encounter with Las Vegas police can be deadly and they have absolutely no reason to believe that they won’t get away with it, based on Metro’s history of accountability or more accurately, the lack thereof.

John Bonaventura, the Most Corrupt Man in Las Vegas

John Bonaventura, the Most Corrupt Man in Las Vegas!!!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spread Nevada CopBlock!

Like what we are doing? Share it with the world.

8 Responses to “LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover-Up of Illegal Data Searches”

  1. Shonny Constant July 20, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    This is a beautifully written and documented piece. If all Cop Block articles and comments observed this level of consideration, it would be a profoundly more powerful movement than the angry mob it often reveals itself to be.

    • Kelly W. Patterson July 20, 2014 at 7:14 am #

      I certainly appreciate it and I unfortunately can’t disagree about some of the people that comment on things. However, there are several very good writers within Cop Block and we are far from an angry mob. We’re just regular people that don’t appreciate people within our communities being abused and the all too prevalent lack of accountable that often accompanies it.


  1. Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of illegal Data Searches | Cop Block - July 20, 2014

    […] was originally posted by Kelly W. Patterson at the Nevada Cop Block […]

  2. UPDATE: LAPD Cops Shoot Man in Street: "He Reached for My Gun" (Again!) | Cop Block - March 1, 2015

    […] Inspector General, and the District Attorney are currently investigating and we all know how thorough a job they do when they investigate […]

  3. LAPD Reacts To Video of Officer Shooting Unarmed Homeless Man - March 2, 2015

    […] Inspector General, and the District Attorney are currently investigating and we all know how thorough a job they do when they investigate […]

  4. LAPD Reacts To Video of Officer Shooting Unarmed Homeless Man | Freedom's Floodgates - March 2, 2015

    […] Inspector General, and the District Attorney are currently investigating and we all know how thorough a job they do when they investigate […]

  5. Happy Birthday to Us! Nevada Cop Block Just Turned Three Years Old | Nevada Cop Block - June 13, 2015

    […] LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover-Up of Illegal Data Searches […]

  6. Dustin McCaskill's Arrest Shows Value of True Accountability at Cop Block | Cop Block - December 16, 2015

    […] with that group from doing something bad. “Bad Apples” have to be removed before they spoil the whole barrel, not used as an excuse that allows the rot to […]

Leave a Reply