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Finn files ethics complaint in Olson case

Former Boulder City Police Chief Thomas Finn has raised concerns with the Nevada Ethics Commission about City Attorney David Olsen.

Finn is seeking a commission opinion about Olsen’s purported involvement as an expert witness on behalf of his son, Brian Olsen, in a lawsuit against Boulder City and Henderson.

Finn’s request includes a court affidavit signed by the city attorney and filed with the lawsuit. The affidavit called the younger Olsen’s arrest “wrongful,” with civil rights violations.

The city attorney “clearly slept through the ‘attorney ethics’ and ‘conflicts of interest’ classes in law school,” Finn said in a statement.

David Olsen, after receiving a copy of Finn’s request from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, said he was surprised the newspaper had a copy of the request as they are usually confidential.

“I’m waiting with baited breath, but I take this seriously,” he said.

He said he would address the situation in more detail if the Ethics Commission schedules a hearing.

The lawsuit stemmed from the March 20, 2010, arrest of Brian Olsen, who was not charged in court, after Henderson police received a complaint from a woman who knew him from a cosmetology school both attended. The classmate complained that Olsen, who borrowed her cellphone, located and sent two nude photos of her to his email address, court records from the lawsuit show.

Henderson police determined there was probable cause for an arrest and dispatched a Boulder City police officer to arrest Olsen, a Boulder City resident.

After prosecutors declined to prosecute the case because of a lack of conclusive proof, Olsen sued both cities in U.S. District Court. He alleged police violated his constitutional rights to be free of unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress.

U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan ruled in favor of Henderson and Boulder City on Feb. 27.

It is the second request for an opinion that Finn, who was fired in April after seven years as chief, has filed with the Ethics Commission that is tied to officials in Boulder City.

The first was in connection to a 2012 vote that Councilman Cam Walker cast in support of a $1.4 billion solar project. Walker’s employer at the time, McCarthy Construction, was listed as a potential, qualified general contractor for the project, according to Ethics Commission documents.

The commission has decided to hear that case to determine whether Walker failed to make required disclosures. A hearing is scheduled for April 16 and 17.

Boulder City Review editor Hali Bernstein Saylor contributed to this report. Contact reporter Ben Botkin at bbotkin @reviewjournal.com or 702-405-9781.

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