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Finn vindicated in two federal suits, court rules Stubbs committed fraud

Former Boulder City Police Chief Tom Finn was dismissed from two federal lawsuits, and a District Court ruling that went against him in a case involving attorney Stephen Stubbs has been vacated.

Finn, Boulder City Police Detective Scott Pastore and Sgt. Vince Albowicz, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department of Las Vegas were dismissed in July from a lawsuit against the Boulder Inn & Suites, according to federal court records.

In March, Finn and Pastore were also dismissed in another federal lawsuit involving the Mongols’ Motorcycle Club, who Stubbs represented.

“They could not allege that there was a specific violation by the Boulder City defendants against any plaintiffs,” Finn’s attorney Thomas Beko said of Finn’s dismissal against the Mongols.

The Mongols’ original complaint stated that Finn, Pastore, Albowicz and Las Vegas police officers “conspired and devised a plan to harass members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club and their guests to the point that they would never want to come back to Boulder City or Southern Nevada ever again.”

Stubbs then had Finn investigated for ordering the deletion of police department emails related to the June 2012 meeting in Boulder City, according to District Court records.

In October 2013, the Nevada Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Finn against Stubbs in November 2012.

The case landed in front of the Supreme Court after Finn appealed District Judge Jessie Walsh’s January 2013 ruling that he violated Stubbs’ free speech rights by suing him.

Walsh granted Stubbs’ motion claiming the suit was a strategic lawsuit against public participation, or SLAPP, filed by Finn to intimidate Stubbs and prevent him from making criminal allegations against Finn.

Finn was ordered to pay Stubbs’ attorneys’ fees of $15,760.

On July 30, District Judge Barbara Johnston ordered Finn to pay Stubbs $10,000 in punitive damages after ruling that Finn had abused his power as police chief by obtaining Stubbs’ personal computer, as well as providing information about him to the State Bar of Nevada, Internal Revenue Service and FBI.

“Clearly the obtaining of Mr. Stubbs’ private office computer and the subversive and probably criminal use of the data on the computer is another fact tending to show that Thomas Finn was acting with outrageous conduct, with a conscious disregard of the impact on Stubbs, alleging unfounded money laundering and fraudulent conduct against Stubbs with malice aforethought,” Johnston wrote.

Last month, Stubbs told the Boulder City Review he planned to seek an additional $47,000 in attorney fees.

Finn previously told the Boulder City Review he planned on appealing Johnston’s decision, and the court ruled in his favor three weeks later.

According to Walsh’s Aug. 18 ruling, the court found “clear and convincing evidence” that Stubbs committed fraud during his lawsuits with Finn, and all judgments and attorney fees previously ruled in Stubbs’ favor have been vacated.

Sean Flanagan, who represented Finn during the District Court lawsuits, did not comment on the ruling.

“We resolved these matters amicably,” Stubbs said.

Copblock.org, a website that tries to hold members of law enforcement agencies accountable for their actions by posting videos of them online, featured a story after Stubbs was awarded $10,000 in July for punitive damages against Finn.

The organization has more than 1.5 million likes on its Facebook page.

A commenter on the story, who goes by the name “Film the Police Always,” wrote “I hope to hear in the news that this fired chief and his family members were slaughtered.”

Finn’s wife, Donna Finn, said they’ve already submitted the story to the FBI for further investigation.

This is a developing story; additional details are expected to be released soon.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

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