May 19, 2011

Transparency Review (5/16 - 5/20)

• A Clark County firefighter was fired Wednesday and thirteen more remain under investigation following an internal probe of sick-leave abuse allegations in the Clark County fire department, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Donald Munn, an 18-year veteran, coordinated his sick-leave and vacation days in an attempt to take most of the summer off according to emails obtained by investigators. Commissioner Steve Sisolak is calling on Munn and others to pay restitution for the money they received while gaming the system.

• Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani is claiming that a flyer sent out by the city of Las Vegas is nothing but a campaign ad designed to promote the candidacy of Mayor Oscar Goodman's wife, Carolyn. The flyer  "extolling the successes of Mayor Oscar Goodman’s administration"  boasts of the city's success at "cutting administrative bloat, winning union concessions, protecting emergency services." While Mayor Goodman argues the flyer is "good government" because it keeps citizens in the loop, Giunchigliani argues it's a taxpayer funded way to promote the "Goodman brand" that indirectly benefits Carolyn Goodman, her opponent in the mayoral race.

• Following Gov. Sandoval's veto of their previous plan, Legislative Democrats are back with a new set of maps. The new Congressional maps would create two solidly Democratic districts, one solidly Republican district and one Democratic-leaning district.

• Josh Gerstein of POLITICO reports that a battle is brewing between transparency activists and the Obama administration over FOIA requests for photos of Osama bin Laden's body. Transparency activists claim the public has a right to view the photos while the administration claims their release could incite violence in the Middle East that would put Americans in danger. Should the battle end up in court, legal experts appear split over which side would prevail. One lawyer says there is "better than [a] 50-50 chance" the government would be forced to release the photos while another puts the odds "between slim and none."