Las Vegas cops carried out secret court-approved wiretaps during their examination into a tried extortion plot versus Nevada Republican Assemblyman Chris Edwards, a police affidavit unsealed Friday revealed.
The target of the wiretaps was longtime Republican protestor Tony Dane, who police allege was the central figure in the scheme, according to the affidavit, acquired by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Edwards, with cops knowledge, likewise secretly taped in person conversations in Las Vegas that he had with Dane and other gamers in the alleged scheme, consisting of Republican Assemblyman Brent Jones of Las Vegas.
The majority of the secret recordings in the investigation were made in January. The wiretaps were detected Dane’s Las Vegas mobile phone.
Dane is alleged to have actually set out the extortion plot in a taped meeting with Edwards on Jan. 10 in a bid to obtain Edwards to change moderate Republican Assembly Speaker John Hambrick of Las Vegas with conservative Assemblyman John Ellison of Elko.
According to the affidavit, Dane stated he was backed by a “individual or persons who had a huge quantity of cash and who wanted to install conservative Republicans in state and federal positions.”
Dane later boasted that his group had “limitless funds” and “compared his employer’s wealth to that of Bill Gates,” the affidavit says.
“Dane informed Edwards that if he informs his employer that Edwards is ‘one of us, his employer will trust Dane and not fund a recall effort against Edwards,” the affidavit states.
It was uncertain in the affidavit whether Dane really had a company. In state records, he noted all of his $245,000 in contributions to his CRC Political Action Committee in 2014 as coming from either him or his business, Dane & & Associates.
The 30-page affidavit, based upon details provided by Las Vegas Intelligence Investigator William Schoen, was submitted by Virginia State Authorities to get a warrant to search Dane’s Northern Virginia house for police here in February.
Las Vegas cops have said they do not prepare to suggest charges against any state legislators in the investigation, which began in December after Edwards reported that he was subjected to pressure to alter his elect Assembly speaker. Republicans ultimately set up Hambrick as speaker in February, following a controversial caucus battle.
According to the affidavit, the examination chased a Dec. 29, 2014, meeting between Edwards and Rob Lauer, a political lobbyist near to Jones. The conference was covertly recorded by both mens and women. Cops realized that Edwards was recording Lauer.
Prior to the meeting, an intermediary had actually delivered a message to Edwards from Lauer promising Edwards a $10,000 campaign contribution and another $50,000 from a political action committee to retire his project debt in return for his vote against Hambrick.
Edwards believed there was an effort to bribe him underway and reported it to police.
At the meeting with Lauer, Edwards was informed he was the crucial swing vote, the affidavit says. But when Edwards pressed Lauer about the offer of cash he had actually gotten from the intermediary, Lauer said any direct offer of money would be illegal.
Later, during the Jan. 10 conference in between Dane and Edwards, Dane revealed that an individual he knows was willing to sign an affidavit that Edwards got a $10,000 bribe in return for his vote against Hambrick. Dane did not determine the individual, but detectives believe it was Lauer, the authorities affidavit says.
Lauer, whose residence was browsed throughout the investigation, has denied misdeed.
Dane stated the bribe affidavit was about to be submitted with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office, however he might “bury it” if Edwards voted the “ideal method.”
Dane also offered Edwards $40,000 to pay off his campaign debt and as much as $150,000 for a future Assembly race, as well as keeping back the release of political fliers assaulting Edwards over his position on taxes, according to the affidavit. He also told Edwards he would not make public recordings of unfavorable telephone call in between Edwards and his constituents that he had obtained through his robo-calling system.
And Dane said he could get a blogger well-known in conservative circles to compose positive aspects of Edwards.
“The affidavit truly speaks for itself,” Edwards said in an interview Friday. “Clearly the examination is continuing.”
Dane has previously denied misdeed.
His legal representative, David Otto, stated he was waiting to see a copy of the affidavit prior to commenting.
This is an establishing story. Check back for updates.
Contact Jeff German at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-380-8135. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter.