Nye County Commissioner Andrew “Butch” Borasky is facing civil legal action from brothel owner Dennis Hof and two others over comments he made during a board meeting in November.
Hof, Nye County Republican Central Committee Chairman Joseph Burdzinski and Donald Cox, husband of Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox, filed a complaint on Dec. 28 with the Fifth Judicial Court in Pahrump. The civil lawsuit cites three causes of action: defamation of character, intentional infliction of emotional distress and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, according to the complaint.
The plaintiffs are seeking punitive damages of $100,000 and an additional amount over $10,000 each for individual damages in each of the three causes, with exact damages to be determined at trial, according to the complaint filed by Gibson Law Group PLLC in Pahrump.
Gibson Law would not provide comment at this time, the firm stated in an email on Friday.
Hof is known for his Nevada brothels and national TV programs that aired on HBO and Cinemax.
In a story by the Pahrump Valley Times on Dec. 6, it was confirmed that Hof also hired David Houston, a Reno-based attorney who defended Hulk Hogan in his case against the now-defunct news website Gawker as lead counsel.
The complaint stems from remarks made near the end of a Nov. 21, 2017 Nye County Commission meeting. At that time, Borasky made a statement saying that he had a “gut feeling” that “three individuals” might have his “number.”
“If I should disappear, (get) hit in the head with a brick, get run off the road or any other function to take my life away from me, then I would ask that they talk to Mr. Dennis Hof, Mr. Don Cox and Mr. Joe Burdzinski,” Borasky said. “I will put that in writing to all the departments, all the sheriffs, and to a whole bunch of agencies, because it’s just a gut feeling, but when I get them, they’re usually right.”
Borasky also stated he was going to submit a written notice to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies during the meeting.
Borasky’s comments were aired on KPVM-TV 46 at the end of November and posted on “YouTube, which makes it available worldwide with the touch of a button,” the complaint stated.
A closer look
According to court documents, under the intentional infliction of emotional distress cause of action, it’s alleged that Borasky’s comments could be politically charged.
Under this section, the complaint alleges that Borasky is motivated to harm Hof’s chances in his planned 2018 run for the Nevada State Assembly in District 36, because of possible ties to Hof’s opponent in the 2016 election cycle, court documents stated.
Burdzinski may have come under fire by Borasky because of an alleged grudge he held for supporting Hof in his 2018 election bid, according to the complaint.
The complaint also states that Borasky named Donald Cox in the suit because of an alleged dislike of Commissioner Donna Cox, whose political career he intends to harm through “guilt by association,” according to the complaint.
The case could meet some resistance with Nevada’s open meeting law: “Any statement which is made by a member of a public body during the course of a public meeting is absolutely privileged and does not constitute a ground for recovery in any civil action,” according to the June 2012 Nevada Open Meeting Law Manual.
According to the manual, the Nevada Legislature amended the open meeting law in 2005 to “provide immunity from an action alleging defamation to members of a public body for statements made during the meeting …”
This immunity applies to “witnesses testifying before a public body.”
The complaint states that “Borasky was not acting in his capacity as a Nye County commissioner but rather, was acting in his individual capacity as a private citizen.”
A message was left for Borasky on Tuesday by the Pahrump Valley Times. He was in a county commission meeting and not available for immediate comment. A separate message was left last week.
Borasky agreed to pay a $1,000 civil fine in 2010 for an ethics-related complaint, information and documents provided by the Nye County government in December showed, according to a report in the Pahrump Valley Times on Dec. 6.
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at email@example.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes