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Henderson constable under investigation for theft after RJ story

Police seized bank funds, a shotgun, computers and paperwork in a raid on Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell’s home and office more than a week ago as part of an investigation sparked by a Review-Journal story, search warrants show.

The records released Tuesday also disclose the possible charges Mitchell could face, including theft, embezzlement, unlawful use of public funds and misconduct of a public officer.

The newspaper story in March found that Mitchell used funds in his constable account to write himself $70,000 in checks and withdraw money at casinos and video poker bars. He also used the funds to travel to places where his adult children lived, records show.

Metro Sgt. J. Herring, with Metro’s intelligence unit, could not estimate when police expect to complete the investigation.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” he said.

Police executed the search warrants on June 4 at Mitchell’s home in Henderson, the constable’s office and Bank of Nevada where Mitchell maintained two constable accounts that were filled with county funds to pay his deputies.

Clark County District Judge Tierra Jones signed both warrants on June 4 based on a sealed affidavit.

At the constable’s office in Henderson, police searched for financial statements, ledgers, cancelled checks, bookkeeping documents and payments to vendors, records show.

Police also wanted employee pay records apparently because the money Mitchell used for questionable expenses was from county funds provided to pay his officers, records show.

Records show police seized a shotgun and two computers at his office, but it’s not clear why police seized the weapon. Police also took paperwork, a computer thumb drive, a cell phone and a computer.

Mitchell’s attorney Damian Sheets could not be reached for comment.

Several staff at the Henderson constable’s office are paid directly by the county, but the deputies who serve court papers and execute evictions receive their pay from the township accounts police seized.

County spokesman Dan Kulin could not immediately answer questions about how the constable’s office will continue to pay staff since police seized the funds.

Contact Arthur Kane at akane@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0286. Follow @ArthurMKane on Twitter.

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