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Tom Collins speaks out about conversation recorded illegally

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Tom Collins speaks out about conversation recorded illegally

By Spencer Lubitz. CREATED Jun 18, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Police said an illegally-recorded conversation prompted Tuesday's raid of the Las Vegas Constable's home and office.

Now, the other voice in that conversation, County Commissioner Tom Collins, is breaking his silence, and speaking only to Action News.

Constable John Bonaventura and Commissioner Collins were friends for more than 20 years, but the commissioner said that's all changed now that a private conversation between the two has gone public.

It's that recording that has Las Vegas police investigating whether the law enforcement officer is breaking the law.

"As far as John, I don't know what he was thinking. I have no idea what the hell he was thinking," Collins said.

Collins has already apologized for his unflattering statements about his fellow county commissioners, but said he had no idea the conversation was being recorded by his longtime friend, and then published by the Las Vegas Review Journal.

According to Collins, Bonaventura was in the midst of suing county commissioners for abolishing his office when the conversation took place.

When the recording was made public, Commissioner Collins was stunned, "First statement I made when I heard about it was, isn't that illegal? And I was totally unaware of it."

On Tuesday, police seized boxes of items and computers during simultaneous raids of both the Las Vegas Constable's Office and Bonaventura's home.

Just hours after that raid, things were back to business as usual according to deputies with the constable's office, who said Constable Bonaventura is back at work and still in charge of the department.

"There was a search conducted, items were seized. I can't go into what exactly was seized, but everything that was seized does not affect the normal operating procedures of the department," said Chief Deputy Dean Lauer.

"If that's the igniter that gets the constable's office straightened up, it's working," Collins said.

Police said they have made no arrests and couldn't discuss much of their investigation beyond that.

Spencer Lubitz

Spencer Lubitz

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Spencer Lubitz is a general assignment reporter for Action News.