Surely it was mere coincidence that the same week Lynette Boggs was spreading the word about her new Christian ministry, the state Department of Public Safety Investigations Division was presenting its criminal case against her to the district attorney’s office for consideration.
Unless it was some higher being’s idea of a joke.
In a widely circulated e-mail last week, Boggs proclaimed that she has founded FaithWorks Foundation, taking the name from James 2:18: “But someone will say, you have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Among her works in her last campaign are allegations that she committed perjury and misappropriated campaign money. Those allegations are the core of the case submitted to the DA on Friday, said the Investigation Division’s Capt. Jerry Hafen, who declined to specify charges recommended.
In September, his office was asked to investigate whether Boggs lived outside of the district when she filed for re-election to the county commission. It’s perjury to lie on a declaration of candidacy. It’s also a crime to convert campaign money for personal use, although that rarely is prosecuted in Nevada.
Boggs, who dropped McDonald from her name since her divorce proceedings began, wrote campaign checks totaling $2,300 to her children’s nanny, Kelly Mcleod. During the campaign she announced that she had reimbursed her campaign account with a personal check. What she did not announce was that her check bounced and never was made good.
“We were asked to look at her using campaigning funds to pay for personal expenses,” Hafen said. He added it was pretty clear that she “probably wasn’t living in her district.”
The case originated from the efforts of private investigator David Groover, who had been hired by the Culinary union Local 226 and the Las Vegas Police Protective Association. The two unions opposed Boggs politically.
Groover’s videotaped surveillance of her in a bathrobe outside a larger home outside her district was compelling evidence that she didn’t live where she claimed to live when she filed for office.
Hafen said the investigation remains open. Among other things, he has asked investigators to look at a $5,000 campaign check from Dr. Raj Chanderraj and Nevada Gaming Commissioner Radha Chanderraj that never made it into Boggs’ campaign account. The check was written two days before Boggs was to vote on a $5 million-a-year contract between University Medical Center and Chanderraj’s cardiology group. Just coincidence, the Chanderrajs say.
Hafen said the investigation was time consuming because of delays in obtaining necessary records. Boggs’ bank records had to be subpoenaed.
District Attorney David Roger confirmed that one of his deputies met with state investigators Friday to talk about potential charges, but he hasn’t personally seen the report. The fact that she no longer is in office will not effect his decision, he said.
“We’re reviewing the case,” he said cautiously. “The first step is to determine if there is sufficient evidence.”
He couldn’t offer any timetable for his decision.
He could press charges or say no crime was committed, despite the Investigation Division’s presentation of a case. Or he could ask for further investigation.
He’s handling the case because former Attorney General George Chanos had a conflict.
If Boggs is charged, she would be the fifth recent former member of the Clark County Commission to face charges. Four others were charged in a federal political corruption case. The FBI also has a continuing interest in Boggs, particularly her land deal in Arizona. Meanwhile, former County Commissioner Yvonne Atkinson Gates is also under investigation; she potentially could be the sixth commissioner charged.
Do we win something if we make it to seven?
If Boggs is proven to be a perjurer who treated her $1.6 million war chest as if it were a Megabucks jackpot, it could reflect poorly on her Christian endeavors. She and her criminal defense attorney, Bill Terry, failed to respond to interview requests.
Some are wondering whether Boggs might be interested in cooperating with authorities in the ongoing investigation at the University Medical Center. Of course, she would have to have useful information to trade.
This Mother’s Day, the mother of two might be wondering what’s best for her children as she ponders the potential of criminal charges.
Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail her at Jane@reviewjournal.com or call 383-0275.JANE ANN MORRISONMORE COLUMNS