Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo has been charged with felony domestic battery, according to reports from the Esmeralda County District Attorney’s Office.
It comes following allegations that Blundo choked his wife at their Pahrump home in March after he discovered more than $77,000 in cash and a gun was missing from there.
Blundo will not be taken into custody. Instead, he has been summonsed to appear in Pahrump Justice Court on Aug. 29.
A judge from Lake Tahoe will preside over the hearings. If convicted, Blundo faces one to five years in prison, or possible probation.
Blundo did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.
Esmeralda District Attorney Robert Glennen has been appointed as a special prosecutor over the case after the Nye County District Attorney’s and the Nevada Attorney’s General offices both declined to investigate the case, citing a conflict of interest.
“If you are the district attorney, you represent the board of county commissioners, so in effect, you would be representing and prosecuting the same persons,” Glennen said. “There is a procedure where if a district attorney has a conflict of interest, they can ask the attorney’s general office to assist. The case had a conflict and [Nye County District Attorney] Chris Arabia very politely assigned one of his people to help me with that conflict.”
In June, Commissioner Blundo lost his Republican primary bid for re-election to challenger Ron Boskovich, amid allegations that Blundo had abused his wife. Recordings of deputy interviews with Blundo’s wife were leaked to the public in which she claimed the commissioner had secretly recorded her naked without her consent. Blundo’s wife told deputies the commissioner had also posted pictures of her to online dating sites to attract sexual partners. In another 911 call, she told dispatchers that her husband had possessed roughly 84 grams of cocaine.
Critics questioned how Blundo was able to avoid arrest following the accusations.
“There were some people who were saying that I was trying to cover it up during the election, but that’s not the case, and that kind just stuck in my craw,” Arabia told the Pahrump Valley Times on Monday.
Arabia also lost his Republican primary bid for re-election in June.
Glennen said he had only received the case against Blundo “weeks ago.”
“The police, as a matter of law, have certain laws that they have to follow regarding domestic battery, and taking people into custody,” he said. “If I don’t have fresh probable cause for an arrest, then I am going to issue a summons. In other words, since I got this many weeks after the incident [allegedly] happened, I don’t think that I would have probable cause to request an arrest, as late in the game if you will.”
But after reviewing the merits of the case against Blundo, Glennen said that’s all changed.
“I do believe however, that I have probable cause to go forward — and that’s as far as I can speak to that,” he said.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at email@example.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes. Editor Brent Schanding contributed to this report.