NEVADA – In a highly anticipated July 25 hearing of the Nevada Commission on Ethics in Carson City, Governor Lombardo faced consequences for ethics violations and abuses of office during his election campaign.
Commissioner Amanda Yen delivered the decision that Governor Lombardo was censured and slapped with a hefty $20,000 fine for his “willful violation” of ethical standards. The verdict was reached with four votes in favor of the measures and two opposing.
“It was a very difficult case,” commented another commission member. “We did deliberate for a long time and took numerous factors into consideration.”
The commission also emphasized that the measures were designed as a deterrent for future misconduct.
The complaint lodged against Governor Lombardo cited violations of NRS Chapter 281A, which requires public officers to avoid conflicts between public duties and private interests. Specifically, the allegations included:
1. “Using his position in government to secure or grant unwarranted privileges, preferences, exemptions or advantages for himself, any business entity in which he has a significant pecuniary interest, or any person to whom he has a commitment in a private capacity.”
2. “Using governmental time, property, equipment, or other facility to benefit his significant personal or pecuniary interest, or any person to whom he has a commitment in a private capacity.” (Some exceptions apply).
The commission had three options for punitive actions: an admonishment, a reprimand, or a censure. Ultimately, they opted for censure, considering it conveyed the strongest message of disapproval.
J. Colby Williams, Governor Lombardo’s attorney, expressed strong disagreement with the censure, stating, “It’s finding that there was a willful violation.” He firmly believes that Governor Lombardo did not engage in any violations of the ethics statutes.
“The Governor and I completely disagree with the notion of a censure,” Williams reiterated, emphasizing that none of the punitive actions were deemed appropriate.
Governor Lombardo did not attend the hearing.
Credits: Fox 5 Vegas
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