Archive | Commentary RSS feed for this section

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

JohnBonaventuraLVConstable 300x265 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

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:

BonaventuraShred 300x200 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

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.

JohnBonaventuraLVConstable1 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

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 nvcopblock.org 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.

BonaventuraAbolished 1024x647 LV Constable John Bonaventura Ordered Cover Up of Illegal Data Searches

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

3 Comments

Chalk the Police State (July 18th) – Updated List of Cities

ChalkThePoliceState Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

Chalk the Police State Wherever you Are.

Tomorrow, July 18th, is the Second Annual “Chalk the Police State” day. For the second year, Nevada Cop Block has called for activists across the country to hold chalk protests in their own cities in solidarity with and to draw attention to the victims of police brutality and the lack of accountability for crimes and other forms of corruption within local police departments.

This year in particular is intended to shine a light on the lack of significant changes in regards to such accountability and the blatant examples of police abuses nationwide. In addition, it will serve as a statement that we will not tolerate police violence and murders within our communities and that we are not just going to go away unless some sort of meaningful reforms are instituted and police officers are held responsible for their actions in the same way everyone else would be.

For more on the background and reasons for the “Chalk the Police State” event see here, here, here, here, here, and here. Meanwhile, here is an update of the cities that will be participating this year. At this point, we have pretty solid confirmations from 12 cities with a good potential for at least 16 cities nationwide. BTW, even though it’s obviously very short notice at this point, it’s still not too late to add YOUR city to this list. One of the many advantages of chalk protests is the ease of organizing and carrying them out. Basically, all you really need is a few boxes of chalk, some dedicated friends, and a desire to get the message out that police brutality will not be tolerated in your communities. It’s quick, easy, and cheap enough for even a small group of motivated people to have a visible impact.

List of Cities:

LVChalkPoliceStateFlyerF 240x300 Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

Las Vegas Flyer for the 2nd Annual “Chalk the Police State” event.

Las Vegas, NV.

Members of Nevada Cop Block will, of course, be chalking that day. No amount of retaliation or intimidation will be stopping us from seeking accountability from the LVMPD. We’ll be going back to the Regional Injustice Center, the original location of the inaugural Chalk the Police State Day.

Olympia, WA.

Seattle, WA.

Kansas City, KS.

Hosted by KCK Cop Block

Portland, OR.

Lafayette, IN.

Phoenix, Az.

  • Downtown Superior Courthouse
  • Friday, July 18 at 11:00am (PDT)
  • 201 W. Jefferson
  • Phoenix, Arizona 85003

Jeffersonville, IN.

KCKChalkPoliceStateFlyer 240x300 Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

The “Chalk the Police State” flyer for Kansas City, Kansas

 

  • Clark County Court House
  • Friday, July 18 at 6:00pm (CDT)
  • Jeffersonville, Indiana

 

Poughkeepsie, NY.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Madison County, Id.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Fresno, CA.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Philadelphia, PA.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Keene, NH.

SeaChalkPoliceState 240x300 Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

The “Chalk the Police State” flyer for Seattle, Wa.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Cincinnati, OH.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Nashville, TN.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Port St. Joe, FL.

Specific schedule/location info is pending.

Unconfirmed/Potential Locations:

  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Salt Lake City, Ut.

It’s Not Too Late to Celebrate “Chalk the Police State” Day in Your City!

LVChalkPoliceStateFlyerB 240x300 Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

It’s tragic when anyone is murdered, even if it isn’t one of the rare occasions when that person is a cop.

We hope that other cities will join us July 18th to make a statement about police brutality and demand accountability when police victimize people in their communities. Police corruption and misconduct is a nation-wide (international actually) problem and it’s only getting worse as time goes by. In addition, in spite the prevailing (and false) rationalizations for that increase in violence against citizens, police work is safer than it has ever been and is becoming safer all the time.

The mistreatment and abuse of you and your neighbors is inexcusable and needs to be stopped. Their record speaks for itself, though. They won’t regulate themselves or even hold the criminals in their midst accountable, after the fact. You need to take a stand and demand an end to the police state and its abuses before it’s too late.

A FaceBook event page has been set up to coordinate all of the different cities planning actions. If you have questions about setting up a chalk protest in your city, potential statements/slogans to write, questions of legality (it’s completely legal), etc. you can post them there. We would also like to have any local event pages link to that page, so we can keep track of who will be participating and allow people in those cities to coordinate with each other. That event page is located here: (National) Second Annual Chalk the Police State with the “Sunset 5″ and in Solidarity with the Victims of Police Brutality, Repression, and Murder. Alternatively, you can also contact NVCopBlock.org’s contact page, if you are not on Facebook or just want to cutout the middle man.

ChalkThePoliceState 29a 1024x433 Chalk the Police State (July 18th)   Updated List of Cities

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments’ Pathetic History of “Accountability”

1 Comment

Somebody Saw Unpopular Opinions, Somebody Said Something

BigBrother 203x300 Somebody Saw Unpopular Opinions, Somebody Said SomethingThis post was submitted by Sean Gruber a resident of Pahrump, NV, which is just outside of Las Vegas, and someone with a history of activism, as well as a member of local, independent media, via internet radio shows he has co-hosted. It details a visit he received from detectives with the LVMPD shortly after he made some statements on Facebook, essentially stating that he felt the actions of the Las Vegas police played a role in the murders of two cops on June 8th. He also expressed the belief that these murders would be used as premise for intensifying the already heavy handed tactics of local police and asserted  the fact that he had the right to defend himself, if they chose to target him.

He was, of course, visited a couple days later by employees of Metro working through the Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, AKA the “Nevada Fusion Center.” During that visit, he was informed that someone had reported his statements online and that was the reason for their investigation. With all of the invocations of  “see something, say something” (which apparently extends to people “walking down the street wearing cammies and boots“) in the wake of the shootings, this isn’t particularly shocking. However, the crazy thing about the First Amendment is that it actually applies to statements that are really unpopular in cities where people are worked up into a frenzy by really emotionally charged events.

To whom it may concern:

Because of my statements last Sunday and Monday – on the killings of two “Metro Officers”- I was targeted for harassment/intimidation by the LVMPD. (Actually it was some sort of “joint task force against domestic terrorism.” But Metro and the usual suspects were central in the bad medicine.) They came looking for me and they were armed and they didn’t care about my constitutionally protected right to free speech. ..Though, when challenged with my Lawyer- they immediately admitted that I “wasn’t charged with a crime.” (God -speed to anyone who if found in the same position- isn’t well enough educated to know to “lawyer up.”)

Now, we all know cops can, and do, in fact lie- in fact the “Supreme Court” has up-held their right to do so. But according to the Detective that my Attorney and I spoke to, the reason for “contact” was because I was reported for something I said on Face Book. (Again the METRO Detective said, to paraphrase “you got close, but that was all protected under the first amendment and you had a right to say it.”)

This wasn’t done by a Statist. (At least the odds are vastly against it.) This wasn’t done by a politician or a cop. This was done to me, by a fellow “patriot”… I could have very easily lost my freedom or my life for simply saying something that was unpopular. The people that would have done it would have been the “police” but the folks that would have started the snow-ball rolling would have been someone you all know and might even consider your friend. Think about this for a minute, please- because I’ve spent the better part of every hour- for a week- contemplating it…

I don’t work for the “state” so I don’t engage in witch hunts, but I’ve got some ideas about how could have done this, do you?

Further, to some of my former FB friends, to paraphrase the late-great Kurt Cobain, “I wish I was like you, easily amused”…

Why did I “flip my lid?” And defend the >philosophical< reason that Metro cops ‘deserve to die?’ (I never said I was going to kill a cop- I reference Metro’s own detective on this. Not that I consider him a credible source.) (I’ve only said I would defend myself- if aggressed against.) Here’s an idea- because I’ve been involved in this war since I was fifteen and I KNEW that LVMPD would use these killings as a reason to escalate their war on American’s rights?

It didn’t even take them forty eight hours…

*sigh*

Did anyone else see the article about “domestic terrorism” on “MSN News” yesterday? I did. The gist of this whole deal is that we with un-popular opinions (I.E. the one’s the founders of this country had) are all “terrorists.” I don’t want to be killed. Hell, until last Tuesday morning maybe it had been a while since I realized how much I still enjoyed life, but I won’t/ I just can’t(!) back down- at this, the moment of truth- even if death it’s self is the consequence. And goodness knows there are people that I love dearly that might prefer it if I did, and who were right there with me when this shit happened- far more so than any of my supposed philosophical allies were…

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every police operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst; the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!” –Aleksandre Soltzhenitsyn-

To Adam Sanacore, to the Chairmen of the State LP, Brett Pujonis, if you couldn’t understand- why I, “flipped my lid” over that LVMPD bereavement Badge Icon, you both put on your FaceBook wall (again I ask you to remember that “local police officers” are the most common violators of Americans Constitutional Rights) I submit to you this; to me that was the equivalent of putting a swastika on your FaceBook account because you were afraid- some Nazi might interpret you as anti- Nazi, or maybe you’d lose an election you were already going to lose- by an even higher margin…

BigBrother2 300x225 Somebody Saw Unpopular Opinions, Somebody Said Something

Already at a neighborhood near you.

I guess the other head trip- (you know besides my friends putting up Swastika’s (MetroBadge’s) on their Fb Walls) put on me this week- I would be very remiss- if I failed to bring up- was this; ‘if I say something and someone misinterprets it and uses it as an explanation/excuse for their violent/ murderous/behavior’ “I’m liable.” Metro… Jesus. God! Help! Us! All!

I was thinking about just shutting up. But I can’t. I just can’t. Maybe I watched ‘Braveheart’ the ‘Outlaw Josey Wales’ ‘The Patriot’ too many times… please remember, everyone I WON’T ever Initiate the use of force…

To those of you that stuck with me… Well- you know who you were. All bests, and if this ever happens to you, I’ll be right there with you! Love and Respect (and I don’t feel even slightly gay for saying so- I love you, because I do!!!) D-M-Sis-Bro-JD-AM-JS-DB-PB-. “NEVER BEGINS it, NO! Never, BUT once engaged, NEVER surrender, Showing the Fangs of RAGE!”

P.s. please just leave me be -LVMPD.

Sean Discusses the Visit on the Non-Partisan Liberty For All Radio Show:

New Politics Internet Radio with Non Partisan Liberty For all on BlogTalkRadio

 

1 Comment