Wall Street Journal
July 6, 2010
By ALEXANDRA BERZON
PAHRUMP, Nev.—Like a scene from a Western movie, the two top lawmen here are settling their scores in public.
In May, a Nye County sheriff's deputy arrested the district attorney. The sheriff, Tony De Meo, alleges that the D.A., Robert Beckett, was misusing public funds.
According to Mr. De Meo, public money had gone to supporting the local cheerleading squad, led by the D.A.'s wife, and to make a family friend's car payments. No charges have been filed, in part because Mr. Beckett, the D.A., refuses to charge himself.
Meanwhile, Mr. Beckett appointed a special prosecutor to investigate possible abuses of power by the sheriff's office and other public officials. Mr. Beckett claims that arresting him was part of an effort to sabotage his re-election. Mr. Beckett ended up running last among five candidates in the Republican primary.
The special prosecutor filed felony charges against the sheriff's deputy, David Boruchowitz, who had arrested the D.A.
Mr. Boruchowitz was also the sheriff's informal press liaison. And after he was summoned to lock himself in the corrugated metal county jail, he sent out a press release with his own mug shot announcing he had been arrested. A judge later rejected the charges, contending Mr. Beckett didn't have the power to appoint a special prosecutor. So Mr. Beckett refiled the charges himself.
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