Public officials request secrecy for one reason: to avoid embarrassment.
So when Southern Nevada’s most embarrassing elected official tried to keep the press out of a public proceeding, he obviously was trying to stay out of the news. It didn’t work.
Last week, a federal judge ordered Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura to pay this newspaper’s parent company $400 to cover the legal costs of opening a hearing he wanted closed. The judge also unsealed a motion he wanted sealed.
Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura would challenge the headline totals of New York’s Anthony Weiner and San Diego’s Bob Filner if his clown act played out in a more important office on a bigger media stage. Mr. Bonaventura is being sued by two former constables who claim he fired them for refusing to lie to county commissioners about a reality TV show he had pursued. The pilot about his band of misfits was so awful, it made “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” look like “Breaking Bad.”
The judge found Mr. Bonaventura and his attorney left a July 23 settlement conference without court permission, a fact they wanted changed in the minutes, and that they had received adequate notice of a July 30 hearing they didn’t attend. They also used cameras during the July 23 conference without the judge’s permission.
Pile this nonsense on top of sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Bonaventura, huge financial losses occurring under his leadership and other blunders, and it’s a wonder why he tried so hard to hide his latest legal woes. His public image is beyond repair.
Thanks to U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach for refusing to provide an elected official with a door to hide behind, and for ordering Mr. Bonaventura to pay restitution to Stephens Media with his personal funds, not public dollars.