Former school official alleges discrimination

A former Clark County School District administrator contends that she was passed over for promotion in "favor of a less qualified Hispanic male," according to a lawsuit filed in District Court.

Susan DeFrancesco, who is white, unsuccessfully applied for the position of northwest region superintendent. She is suing the district for damages in excess of $10,000.

Richard Carranza, former principal of Eldorado High School, is the current northwest region superintendent but was not mentioned by name in the court filing.

District officials did not return calls for comment.

DeFrancesco began her employment with the district in 1981 and served as a principal and assistant region superintendent.

She was appointed "co-acting region superintendent" in December 2006 after Carla Steinforth, then northwest region superintendent, retired.

DeFrancesco applied for the job in March 2007.

She also has filed discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Nevada Equal Rights Commission.

ex-county commissioner

Boggs might avoid jail with plea agreement

Former Clark County Commissioner Lynette Boggs will plead guilty next week in her 2007 criminal case and probably will avoid jail time.

Boggs will enter an Alford plea to a gross misdemeanor count of filing a false declaration of candidacy, said her attorney, Gabriel Grasso. She was scheduled to go to trial Jan. 26.

An Alford plea would mean Boggs doesn’t admit wrongdoing but acknowledges that there is enough evidence to convict her.

"She wants to get on with her life," Grasso said, adding that Boggs now lives in Texas and is considering attending law school.

Grasso said prosecutors have agreed not to recommend a sentence for Boggs.

Boggs was accused of living outside her district and lying about it.

She also was accused of listing her baby sitter as a campaign expense and later lying about it. District Judge Donald Mosley dropped those charges in February, saying Boggs didn’t appear to have willfully tried to mislead authorities.

The charges stem from an investigation paid for by the Las Vegas Police Protective Association and Culinary Local 226.

Investigators conducted surveillance on Boggs in 2006 and captured footage of her living in a house outside her district. At the time, she claimed to be living inside her district.

Boggs lost re-election in 2006 to Susan Brager.


Judge cuts fee for School Board records

A woman wanting access to a year’s worth of e-mail and cell phone records of Clark County School Board members won a partial legal victory against the school district, which wanted to charge her nearly $5,000 for the information.

District Judge Susan Johnson ruled that the district cannot charge Karen Gray for reviewing and editing the records for confidentiality. The judge cut the cost of the public information request by about $3,000.

The remaining $2,000 is still in doubt. The judge has set a hearing for Jan. 23 to allow the district to argue that it needs to be compensated for retrieving the requested records.

Lee Rowland, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing Gray, said the law is on their side because the government cannot charge for access to public records.

It can charge only for making copies of public records, Rowland said.

Rowland said that while charging fees is seemingly a technical point, the principle of open government is at stake if the district can charge the public steep fees for the right "to browse."

"How do you have meaningful public oversight if you only have access to the records that you know to ask for?" Rowland said.

District officials did not return a phone call seeking comment.


Five treated after apartment fire

Five people were treated for smoke inhalation Tuesday after an early morning fire in an apartment near Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington Avenue.

Investigators think that the 4:30 a.m. blaze, which caused about $40,000 worth of damage, was related to smoking and that medical oxygen was involved.

Las Vegas Fire Department officials responded to several calls about the fire at 1011 N. Fourth St.

When they arrived, firefighters helped the five occupants outside and put out the fire before it spread to other units.

Three of the people were taken to University Medical Center for minor burns and smoke inhalation.


Mistrial declared in case of 1990s killer

A district judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the re-sentencing hearing of a man convicted of murder in the 1990s.

District Judge Jackie Glass declared the mistrial in the case of Doneale Feazell, a 34-year-old former gang member who was found guilty in 1994 of killing a man during a car-jacking in West Las Vegas.

The jury began hearing Feazell’s penalty phase last week. Jurors deliberated for about a day and a half but declared Tuesday that they couldn’t decide whether to sentence Feazell to life in prison with the possibility of parole or life without the possibility of parole.

Under Nevada law, if a jury can’t reach a decision in the penalty phase of a noncapital case, the judge will sentence the defendant.

Glass is scheduled to sentence Feazell on March 5.

Feazell was sentenced to death in the 1990s, but the Nevada Supreme Court overturned the sentence. It ruled that the two factors the jury used to sentence Feazell to death were duplicative.

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