Patricia Martinelli-Price and her husband Danny Ray
Deputy constable Travis Fields
Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak
LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas township constable's office has launched a public relations campaign of sorts.
The office has produced more than a dozen videos over the last few months and posted them on YouTube.
Few people are actually watching them, but one particular video captured the attention of the I-Team.
In general, the videos seem designed to answer the constable's critics and deal with issues such as the Clark County Commission's effort to abolish the office.
But one video stood out as being more personal -- at least to the couple who didn't know they were in it.
In a video entitled "Commissioner Sisolak Trying to Abolish Las Vegas Constable's Office Over Bogus Letter," deputy constable Travis Fields announces a "in-detail investigation" into a citizen complaint against the office.
"Sit back, relax, as we expose you the truth that nobody else will," Fields said in the video.
The supposed exposé begins with snippets of a recent commission meeting where the complaint became public, along with part of Constable John Bonaventura's response.
But some five minutes in, the scene changes to what appears to be hidden camera video of two deputy constable's entering the home of the citizen who made the complaint, with Fields' commentary of the encounter.
Patricia Martinelli-Price and her husband Danny Ray sat stunned as they watched their YouTube debut for the first time.
"We feel violated," the couple said. "I was born in Vegas, raised in Vegas and Santa Fe, N.M., and I have never felt this bad in my life."
The couple insisted they had no idea they were being videotaped and would not have agreed to it.
The encounter, they explained, happened in June 2011 and was the second of two meetings after a car they said they were fixing as a charitable donation was towed without notice from the street in front of their house.
"I'm very sad and disgusted and disappointed and I'm telling you that's the type of people they are," the couple said. "They're thugs. They act like thugs."
The video claims to show the office "runs professionally at all times."
"I'm almost dumbfounded to say that that video shows that you secretly tape somebody, shows that you are professional in someone's home?" the couple said.
Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who was quick to recall the constable office's previous attempts at a reality TV show, questioned its most recent video productions and wondered out loud whether deputy constables tape all of their encounters.
"Maybe it's governing through intimidation?" Sisolak said. "Who would want to complain about the constable's office when they see what they've done with this woman."
Constable spokesman Lou Toomin said the constables shot the cell phone video with Martinelli-Price's permission.
He said the rest of the catalogue is scripted and edited by Bonaventura himself, to tell his side of the story, such as the following example:
"The administrative staff of the office showed compassion and concern for one of our citizens. Until next time, eyes open, no fear."
After speaking with the constable's representative, the I-Team expected to hear from Bonaventura Wednesday, but ultimately did not.
Martinelli-Price said she plans to explore her legal options against the office and hopes to testify about her situation at the next commission meeting.
Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:34 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:34:04 GMT
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