November 30, 2011

Transparency Review (11/28-12/2)

  • NPRI's Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation filed its first case on Wednesday charging that state Senator Mo Denis, the Public Utilties Commission (PUC) and the Nevada Legislature are violating the state's separation-of-powers clause. The lawsuit was filed in Carson City's first district court and charges that Denis' dual-employment in the legislature and the PUC, which operates under the executive branch, violates Article 3 of the Nevada Constitution, which prohibits individuals from holding positions in both branches of government.

  • North Las Vegas Councilman Wade Wagner's one-vote victory in June was upheld by district court Judge Susan Scann. Scann ruled that former Councilman Richard Cherchio, Wagner's opponent, couldn't prove any illegal votes were cast and said Cherchio's attorneys didn't present any "clear and convincing evidence."

  • Josh M. Reid, son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, was unanimously selected as the next Henderson city attorney. Henderson's four-member City Council cited Reid's private sector experience and wanting to "bring in someone from outside of the city attorney’s office" as reasons for their selection, but several meeting attendees claim Reid was only selected because his father lobbied aggressively for his selection. Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen dismissed the lobbying criticism by saying: "Every candidate had someone lobby on their behalf."

  • Ely Mayor pro tem Shane Bybee abstained from voting on waiving water and sewer connection fees for an expansion of the local La Quinta Inn because his family owns a competing Ramada Inn down the road from La Quinta. Bybee set himself apart from the many lawmakers in state history who didn't abstain from voting despite a clear conflict-of-interest.