Arrest Warrant Issued For County Recorder Fran Deane - 8 News NOW

George Knapp, Investigative Reporter

Arrest Warrant Issued For County Recorder Fran Deane

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Monty Miller told police he eventually paid Deane thousands of dollars for compact disc copies of county records. Monty Miller told police he eventually paid Deane thousands of dollars for compact disc copies of county records.
Boxes of documents were removed from Deane's office in March 2006. Boxes of documents were removed from Deane's office in March 2006.
Deane has previously maintained her complete innocence, "I can hold my head up high and square my shoulders. I know I did not do this." Deane has previously maintained her complete innocence, "I can hold my head up high and square my shoulders. I know I did not do this."

Frances Deane: Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant

Clark County Recorder Fran Deane has been accused of 19 felony counts stemming from her alleged sale of public documents to private businesses. An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday morning for Deane. 

Law enforcement officials who've been working this case for many months wanted to see Fran Deane in handcuffs and behind bars Tuesday night, but it didn't happen.

Deane was allowed to remain free, at least until Friday, primarily because she convinced a judge she has ongoing medical problems.

The detectives who put together the 19-count case against her think it's a ruse on her part in light of Deane's unusual behavior since she first learned about the investigation.

If the arrest warrant issued Tuesday morning is accurate, there are a lot of things Fran Deane shouldn't have done. Although the county recorder has vowed from the beginning to cooperate with Metro, sources close to the probe say she's done anything but.

Detectives intended to arrest Deane at her home and bring her to jail, but Deane wasn't there. She was given until 11:30 to turn herself in to the detention center, but failed to show. Nor was she present for an afternoon court hearing that gave her until Friday to either surrender or post a $20,000 bail.

At an afternoon news conference, District Attorney David Roger acknowledged that Deane has been a handful. "From what I understand, it does not appear she has been entirely truthful with Metro detectives."

The 19-count arrest warrant lists 19 alleged felonies Deane committed. An affidavit filed by intelligence detectives Mike Ford and Bob Whitely is devastating in the detail it offers about Deane's alleged transgressions.

Metro believes Deane first proposed the sale of county documents to private companies back in 2002 when she approached local businessman Monty Miller. Miller told police he eventually paid Deane thousands of dollars for compact disc copies of county records. Miller also says he gave Deane $10,000 in campaign contributions that she never reported.

Eight of the 19 felony counts stem from dealings Miller had with Deane, including two counts of theft, two counts of filing a false campaign report, fraud, and misconduct of a public official.

Detectives found two other businessmen who say they too paid large sums of money to Deane for exclusive access to documents. Deane allegedly wantedone million dollarsfor the master log to all county records but agreed to settle for $100,000.

Police believe she accepted more than $140,000 in cash, including payments stuffed into teddy bears that were located at her home. Deane also allegedly forced other county employees to help in her alleged scheme, which raised suspicions in her office, suspicions that were confirmed in March when detectives raided the recorder's office and found evidence that Deane was hoarding sensitive materials behind her locked door.

Metro's Deputy Chief Mike McClary said, "We're talking about records in a neighborhood filling. We're talking about millions of records that were copied by county staff and provided by Ms. Deane to individuals for personal financial gain."

Among the charges listed in the arrest warrant are fraud, theft, misconduct by a public official, filing a false campaign report, and others.

Deane has previously maintained her complete innocence, "I can hold my head up high and square my shoulders. I know I did not do this."

She will have a chance to prove it in court.

Metro Police and the D.A.'s office are very confident that they have Deane dead to rights. Judge Karen Bennett allowed Deane to avoid arrest Tuesday because Deane's lawyer said the recorder is recuperating from surgery.

Police sources say Deane had elective surgery three weeks ago, in part, they suspect, because she knew her arrest was coming and that her surgery might keep her out of jail.

The judge bought it. The police don't.

Charles Harvey ahs been filing in as recorder.  He told Eyewitness News the office is co-operating fully with the investigation. "It's an unfortunate situation for everyone involved because the employees they have a lot of questions, all of us we have of questions how things will turn out, but ultimately our job is to continue serving the public and we will continue to do that."

Harvey says the public can be assured their documents are safe, and he asks that you recall the accomplishments of the office.  Harvey is not only a witness in the case against Deane, but is also running for recorder in the upcoming election.

Email investigative reporter George Knapp at gknapp@klastv.com

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