Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006 | 7:27 a.m.
Former Clark County Recorder Fran Deane said Wednesday that her removal from office pending felony charges meant she was held to a different standard than a convicted former county commissioner who retained her seat after being indicted.
Deane said on "Face To Face With Jon Ralston" on Las Vegas ONE that this month's decision by District Court Judge Douglas Herndon to remove her from her elected position before she had a chance to defend herself against criminal charges of theft and misconduct in public office shocked her.
"I would say that other people have been treated better than I've been treated in a very similar circumstance," Deane said. "Mary Kincaid-Chauncey, for instance, was not removed from the Clark County Commission after she was allegedly committing these crimes. She was allowed to fulfill her term.
"I obviously am being held to a different standard by the same people."
Kincaid-Chauncey was convicted earlier this year as part of a political corruption probe tied to former strip club owner Michael Galardi. But she was allowed to complete her term in office after the criminal charges were brought against her.
Deane, who insists she is innocent, faces 18 felony counts in connection with allegations that she profited from the illegal sale of real estate documents filed with the recorder's office.
But while Deane will not be arraigned on the charges until Oct. 2, Clark County District Attorney David Roger - relying on an obscure, rarely used Nevada law allowing courts to oust public officials for malfeasance - succeeded in having Deane removed from office in advance of her criminal trial.
In asking Herndon to immediately remove Deane from office, Roger argued that she should not be allowed to remain on the public payroll "when it's pretty clear she has committed some serious criminal acts."
"I was absolutely shocked that he put me out of office," Deane said of Herndon. "I was extremely disappointed that the apparent media circus that had been created by David Roger basically clouded the entire trial, if you will, that was held at the civil court, and I don't think the facts were presented to the judge in such a fashion that we were given a fair shake."
When Ralston told Deane that some people consider her unfit for office, she replied: "I do believe that perception is out there, but the people who do know me know I'm none of those things, and it doesn't take very long in a conversation with me to make a determination that I'm highly intelligent, not cuckoo, crazy or nuts. I don't believe I was unfit for office and I don't believe the voters of Clark County thought I was unfit for office, or they wouldn't have elected me."
Deane was accompanied on the TV program by her Las Vegas attorney, Conrad Claus, who said he will present evidence to the jury that there was a conspiracy by county officials to get her removed from office.
Deane and Claus questioned the credibility of businessmen Monty Miller and Joseph Gekko, who testified in a preliminary hearing that they paid Deane for early access to records filed in her office. Claus said Miller was pressured to tell authorities what they wanted to hear because they had evidence to connect him to unrelated crimes.
"I have evidence that the state's case is built upon circumstantial evidence and it's built upon the testimony of people who were under pressure to provide a certain story," Claus said.
If acquitted, Deane said, she will be left to ponder: "Where exactly do I go to get my reputation back? Where do I go to get my credibility back? I believe I will be vindicated. I didn't do this."