Former Las Vegas Township Constable John Bonaventura pleaded not guilty Tuesday to theft and wiretapping charges.
An indictment accuses Bonaventura, 54, of wrongfully increasing an employee’s salary to repay a personal debt. It also accuses him of secretly recording phone calls from newspaper reporters, lawyers, a judge and at least one Clark County commissioner.
Along with one count of theft, Bonaventura faces one count of misconduct of a public officer and four counts of unlawful interception of wire communications, all felonies. The crimes occurred between January 2013 and January 2015, when the constable’s office was shuttered, the indictment alleges.
District Judge Richard Scotti set a trial for September.
Bonaventura, who is represented by attorney Leo Flangas, is free on $25,000 bail.
In January, Bonaventura sent a 10-page letter to prosecutors in an attempt to show evidence that would prove his innocence.
In the document made public Tuesday, Bonaventura blamed his ouster on Clark County Commissioners and Las Vegas news reporters.
“I have been turned into a leper by the illegal actions of the County Commissioners,” he wrote. “I have committed no crimes and even though I have not done anything wrong, I have been excoriated by the press and have been publicly convicted by slander and libel of unscrupulous reporters who have sold their souls for some extra cash.
“It is inequitable for me to suffer through this illicit conduct and to be caused this mental anguish and suffering when even the simplest mind can see that the allegations against the complainant is a house of cards stacked by members of the County Commission.”