An affidavit for a Citizen Grand Jury citing Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 6.132 was filed in Nye County District Court on May 23, 2016. The affidavit consists of 18 pages and has 32 attached exhibits which lay out the need for the use of this statute to reveal the facts surrounding Assemblyman Chris Edwards complaint of extortion in 2014. Edwards is the incumbent currently seeking re-election in Assembly District 19.
The court document asserts that Edwards and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Detective William Schoen submitted an affidavit with verifiable false information while seeking a warrant for permission to tap the phones of several people.
Chief Judge Jennifer Togliatti signed off on the warrant based on the information provided by Schoen on behalf of Edwards.
The affidavit further asserts that Schoen has a history of threatening citizens engaging in political activities. Additionally, he is currently fighting a civil rights lawsuit filed in 2012 by the Mongols Motorcycle Club. The club’s suit claims they were deprived their rights under the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Schoen, along with the LVMPD, is named in the suit as using the “color of law” to shut down free assembly and political speech.
Laurel Fee, who filed the case in Nye County, claims that “Judge Togliatti would have denied the warrant if false dates and intentional omissions had not been not purposely submitted.” She also states that the “reckless disregard for the truth” is so prevalent it will be hard for anyone not to conclude it was intentional. “They basically created a crime where no crime existed to intimidate and shut down political participation.”
According to “Reno Gazette-Journal,” Edwards was accused of wearing a wire while meeting with caucus members and others in late 2014 and early 2015 during the battle for leadership in the Nevada Assembly. However, in an interview on the Las Vegas Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) with Jon Ralston, Edwards did not deny he had worn a wire during legislature meetings.
The affidavit, filed in Nye County by Fee, details the timeline of political actions designed to pave the way for Governor Brian Sandoval’s budget and tax package to make its way through the Nevada legislature in 2015. In addition, government entities are named as colluding together to affect political outcomes in favor of high-ranking political figures in the state.
By DiMarkco Chandler
Edited by Cathy Milne
Interview: Laurel Fee
Reno Gazette-Journal: Nevada lawmaker worried GOP colleague ‘wearing a wire’
Las Vegas PBS Video: Ralston Live June 17, 2015; Interview with Erv Nelson and Chris Edwards
Image by Finetooth Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License