Indicted Ex-Clark County Lawmaker Loses Bid For Public Defender

A judge rejected an indicted former Clark County commissioner's bid Wednesday to be declared indigent and have the county public defender handle her criminal ethics case.

"By no stretch of the imagination do you qualify as indigent," Clark County Hearing Master Kevin Williams chided Lynette Boggs after letting her previous lawyer, Bill Terry, withdraw from the case.

Terry told the judge he had not been paid. Outside court, Terry mentioned payments Boggs was making to other lawyers, including one
handling her divorce from Steven McDonald.

"I understand that you may be upside-down with your income at the present moment," Williams told Boggs after reviewing a declaration of Boggs' finances.

He said he would not release information about her income.

"But I can't appoint a public defender for you," he told Boggs, who founded a Christian ministry and traveled to Africa after her election loss.

"You're going to have to find other means to hire an attorney."

The judge rescheduled Boggs' arraignment for Oct. 3 to give her time to hire another lawyer.

He also noted that Boggs owns property, and said that if Boggs forces the state to appoint a public defender, she will be billed for the service.

Boggs, 44, declined comment outside court.

She remains free without bail while facing perjury and false document charges that could result in up to 18 years in state prison and $30,000 in fines if convicted.

Boggs, who failed in a 2002 bid to become the first black female Republican in Congress, testified last week before the grand jury that accused her of failing to live in the commission district she represented and of paying a nanny with funds raised for her unsuccessful re-election bid a year ago.

The indictment, filed Aug. 29, made Boggs the fifth former commission member to face criminal charges since 2003.

Many consider the seven-member elective board, with oversight of the Las Vegas Strip, the most powerful governmental body in Nevada.

Former commissioners Lance Malone, Mary Kincaid-Chauncey and
Dario Herrera are in federal prison for taking bribes from a former strip club owner from 1999 to 2003.

Former commissioner Erin Kenny is due to report to federal prison Sept. 18 after pleading guilty and testifying for the prosecution in that corruption scandal, dubbed "Operation G-Sting."

Club owner Michael Galardi also was convicted in that case.

Las Vegas culinary and police unions first challenged Boggs' residency during her re-election bid last year.

The perjury charges stem from Boggs' May 1, 2006, declaration that she lived at a house in her district southwest of Las Vegas, and a worn Aug. 8, 2006, declaration that payments to her baby sitter were for campaign events, according to court documents.

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