Judge faces the music in Boggs' felony case

Correction on 10/12/07 -- Prosecutor Eric Jorgenson's last name was misspelled in Thursday's Review-Journal story about the case of former Clark County Commissioner Lynette Boggs.

Judge Ken Cory might be presiding over one of the more high-profile cases in District Court if he wasn't such a skillful tenor.

Cory withdrew Wednesday from presiding over former Clark County Commissioner Lynette Boggs' trial.

Prosecutor Eric Jorgensen asked him to take the step after Cory declared for the sake of full disclosure that he previously sang in a choral performance with Boggs. Cory also stated that his brother, attorney Tim Cory, was a contender against Boggs for the commission seat.

Boggs was in Cory's court, her first appearance before the judge, for a trial setting Wednesday. She faces four felony charges of perjury and filing false documents related to her failed bid for re-election in 2006.

Boggs has pleaded not guilty to those counts.

Judge Cory said he did not believe the two potential conflicts would affect his ability to preside fairly over the case and left it up to the two attorneys.

Boggs' lawyer, Gabriel Grasso, said he did not believe the judge's or his brother's contact with Boggs would affect Cory's rulings.

Jorgensen asked for the change in venue. The case will be randomly reassigned to another judge, out of an "abundance of caution."

Gov. Kenny Guinn appointed Boggs to replace departing Commissioner Mark James in March 2004. Tim Cory expressed interest in the seat and filed to run against Boggs in the November election that year.

Two weeks after he filed, he dropped out of the race and accepted Boggs' offer to lead her new citizens advisory committee. A Review-Journal photo of his withdrawal announcement shows him amicably opening the door for Boggs.

Judge Cory was a tenor in the Desert Chorale, Las Vegas choir, a nonprofit community choir. He said he quit several years ago.

He said Boggs performed solos in conjunction with his choir at two Memorial Day performances five or six years ago. Although he could not remember what she sang, "she did well," Cory said in an interview after the court hearing.