The attorney for former Valley Electric Association (VEA) CEO Angela Evans has filed a lawsuit against both the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and Capt. David Boruchowitz.
The complaint was filed on Oct.15 in the United States District Court, District of Nevada, and alleges the sheriff’s office and Boruchowitz deprived Evans of her constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizures and unlawful arrests as protected by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and under the laws of the state of Nevada.
Additionally, the complaint states Evans suffered a violation of her rights, lost earnings, mental anguish, emotional harm, along with pain and suffering, while noting that the Nye County Sheriff’s Office allowed Boruchowitz to falsely and/or recklessly apply for a search warrant without probable cause, for a crime she did not commit.
“As a result of the defendant’s unconstitutional conduct, plaintiff (Evans), was forced to suffer indescribable mental anguish and emotional pain due to deprivation of her constitutional rights,” according to the complaint. “She has also been deprived of income and has suffered severe economic harm. Plaintiff has also been forced to move out of her home.”
Following an investigation last December by the Nye County District Attorney’s office, District Attorney Chris Arabia declined to file charges against Evans.
“My chief deputy and I carefully reviewed the entire file, consulted with experts and made a field trip to look at the site in question,” Arabia said. in a Thursday interview. “Based on our thorough review, we decided not to prosecute Evans.”
Two search warrants were executed by the sheriff’s office between Feb. 22 and Feb., 26 last year at Valley’s administrative offices.
Evans was arrested inside of her office at Valley’s 800 E. Highway 372 in Pahrump on Feb. 26, 2019 on suspicion of embezzlement, of $3,500 or more, over accusations that she billed VEA $75,000 for work performed on her personal residence in Pahrump.
The work done on the home, was to move above-ground power lines, below ground, according to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, at the time.
Las Vegas Attorney Andre Lagomarisno is representing Evans according to documents obtained from the Nye County District Attorney’s Office.
Contained within the 15-page complaint, Boruchowitz and other sheriff’s office personnel applied for and obtained search warrants based on information from a “street source” regarding the work performed on Evans’ residence.
The complaint stated that the “street source” contacted Boruchowitz and advised him that Evans had VEA to do approximately $89,000 worth of work at the 3181 Winery Road residence, where VEA was billed for the work.
Boruchowitz, according to the recent complaint, wrongfully alleged in his search warrant application that Evans used her position as CEO to have work conducted by VEA for personal gain at her residence, at the cost of the cooperative membership.
The complaint also stated that Boruchowitz alleged there was probable cause that evidence existed for a violation of Nevada Revised Statute (NRS), 205.300, embezzlement, and the evidence was concealed within the VEA corporate offices.
During the execution of a search warrant, on Feb., 22nd, according to the complaint, Evans, along with other VEA employees, were denied access to counsel, outside communication and were detained in the VEA boardroom for more than 5 hours.
The complaint went on to state that Evans was denied requests to speak with VEA general counsel.
“Deputies even required detained VEA employees to ask permission before using the restroom,” according to the complaint. “Additionally, Plaintiff (Evans), and other VEA employees could hear a deputy checking his Taser in a hallway, before voicing to them that he was in fact, checking his taser. These allegations were all unfounded, false and/or inaccurate, as there was no actual or valid evidence to suggest that Mrs. Evans personally committed any acts to misuse or divert VEA property or money away from its intended purpose, or that she knew that the modifications being completed by VEA were in any way improper and not approved in the normal course VEA policies and procedures,” the complaint stated.
Moreover, the complaint noted that the alleged existence of probable cause contained in the search warrant application submitted by Boruchowitz on Feb. 26th, was unfounded and false.
“Based on an incomplete and inaccurate set of facts as alleged by Boruchowitz, Pahrump Justice of the Peace Lisa Chamlee again found probable cause to issue another search warrant at VEA.”
Later that day, sheriff’s office deputies and detectives executed another search warrant at VEA, where Evans was then taken into custody.
“During the execution, the NCSO, without probable cause or other justification arrested the plaintiff for embezzlement, and transported her to the Nye County Detention Center, according to the complaint. “Later that day, plaintiff was allowed to pay bail and leave the Nye County Detention Center. Plaintiff was not provided with any charging document or an indictment, but was given a notice to appear in Justice Court on April 29, 2019.”
The complaint also stated that on or around 9:20 p.m., on February 26th, the sheriff’s office reported the arrest on Facebook with a two-minute video showing Evans being handcuffed and arrested, where the post made unfounded allegations made in the Feb. 26 application for the search warrant, according to the complaint.
“The Facebook video even changed some of the information that was alleged by Boruchowitz in the application by changing the amount of value of work done to plaintiff’s residence from $89,000 to $74,000,” the complaint stated.
Following Evans’ release from the detention center, she was placed on administrative leave by VEA in order for the co-op to investigate and determine whether she had violated VEA policies and bylaws. In early July 2019, Valley announced Evans was no longer with the company.
It should be noted that VEA was not named in the lawsuit.
Attorney Lagomarsino, meanwhile, outlined what he is seeking from the litigation, as he demanded a trial by jury.
“For judgement in favor of plaintiff on all counts, for compensatory damages to be proven at trial, for compensatory and special damages in excess of $15,000, for pre-and post-judgement interest at the maximum legal rate, for costs and attorney fees incurred in prosecuting this action and for further relief as the court may deem just, proper, and appropriate,” the complaint stated.
The Nye County Sheriff’s Office was contacted for this report.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Pahrump Valley Times Interim Editor Jeff Meehan contributed to this story.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @pvtimes