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Assembly candidate accused of posing as a Clark County employee

Updated May 5, 2022 - 6:32 am

A candidate for Nevada Assembly is accused of posing as an employee of the Clark County public administrator’s office in estate cases.

But Benjamin Donlon, running as a Republican for Assembly District 16, said the allegations against him were false and that he was a victim of character assassination by the county’s public administrator, Robert “Rob” Telles.

“That’s fighting words,” said Donlon. “I’m running for office, and now he is disparaging my good name.”

Telles’ office is responsible for securing the property of people who have died, as a search is carried out for family members of the decedent or an executor of the estate.

Recently, Telles’ office posted a banner headline on the public administrator’s county homepage, warning customers about Donlon.

“Please be aware that a man named Benjamin Donlon has been contacting families of deceased people,” the warning states. “He has been claiming he is a representative of this office. Benjamin Donlon is not, and has never been, an employee of the Clark County Public Administrator.”

The warning encourages people to report any contacts with Donlon to Telles’ office.

Donlon, however, said Wednesday that the warning about him was not true. Donlon said he is a paralegal in Las Vegas who owns American Recovery Systems, a company that works with attorneys to find heirs of estates to see if they need legal representation in probate court.

“We ask the heir if they want to be represented,” Donlon said. “If they do, then they file an affidavit with our attorneys and we take (it) to court. That’s pretty much the process.”

Donlon said he regularly makes phone calls to potential clients who need representation in estate cases as part of his business. He said he’s never told anyone he is working on behalf of Telles’ office.

“That would be counterproductive for me to say there is a public administrator,” Donlon said. “There would be no reason for me to.”

Telles said that roughly two years ago, his office was contacted by a customer complaining that Donlon had claimed he was an employee of the public administrator’s office while soliciting business.

Donlon was sent a cease and desist letter through the Clark County District Attorney’s office, Telles said, “and we thought the matter was resolved.”

But recently, Telles said, his office received another complaint about Donlon referencing the public administrator’s office, prompting the public alert on the website.

“About two months or so ago we got a call from someone, family member of a decedent, who reported that Benjamin Donlon called them, said that he was an employee of our office, and that they could go ahead and visit the public administrator’s website if they wanted to verify that,” Telles said. “So it seems that the cease and desist didn’t really help from making the claims… When he’s doing that, it doesn’t seem right he’s invoking our office.”

Donlon said he was baffled as to why Telles’ office posted the warning and wants it pulled from the website.

“Who in the hell does he think he is?” Donlon said. “I’m a gentleman, so I called my attorney and my attorney is working with them to get that removed or taken down unless they can substantiate it.”

Donlon said he is running for office to fix the legal system and change how estates are handled in Nevada. He said he wants to eliminate loopholes in state law that allow people or businesses to take over estates of dead people by filing paperwork with the probate court to act as administrator, even without a connection to the person who died.

“The loophole, as the system is now, allows for financial abuses to take place,” Donlon said.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter. Review-Journal reporter Ricardo Torres-Cortez contributed to this story.

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