Home>Articles>OPINION: TrackerGate May Reveal More Than Identity Of PI Client

Reno Arch in the Morning, Reno, NV, Mar. 8, 2020. (Photo: SnapASkyline/Shutterstock)

OPINION: TrackerGate May Reveal More Than Identity Of PI Client

When a citizen decides to run for public office, they choose to forego certain privacies

By TC Sterling, April 10, 2023 11:42 am

Public Figures are just that–public figures.

When a citizen decides to run for public office, they choose to forego certain privacies.

Tracking a public figure, whether they are actors, singers, athletes, or politicians, has been happening for centuries as it is one of the main ways the public at large is provided with details like photos, activity, and transactions that are newsworthy. Reporters base their livelihood on tracking public figures.

Since 2001, with the advent of The Patriot Act, private citizens forego privacy every day and have been under constant surveillance. In addition, anyone who has a SmartPhone holds a GPS tracker in their hands. Our whereabouts are not private, confidential, or secure.

YouTube tracks your location when you use their App. So does Spotify. So does Twitter.  

All of these apps track our whereabouts using GPS coordinates, as evidenced by tailored ads from vendors in the area. These Apps aren’t licensed Private Investigators and they don’t seek permission through the Courts to monitor our location and movement.

Technology and open source information has a way of revealing secrets which people want hidden, especially public figures who may have much to hide.

When a politician, like Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, swears to an Oath of Office, they also agree to abide by state and federal election commission transparency laws in posting all financial requirements to include every dollar donated to their campaign and their source of personal income. Public officials agree to forego personal privacy for a specific reason as taxpayers pay their salary and have a vested interest in their personal and public pursuits.

After a mechanic found a GPS tracker on Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve’s vehicle, a civil case now known as TrackerGate, was filed by Schieve. Schieve went on record and claimed that the private investigator was guilty of “invasion of her privacy” when Schieve is, in fact, a public figure.

Shieve’s invasion of privacy claim didn’t stop there. She went on to make a rather erratic claim when interviewed by The Reno Gazette Journal:

“This kind of invasion of privacy and stalking is incredibly alarming because I don’t know what the intent is for this information. I mean, does someone want to kill me? I don’t know.”

Schieve uses Twitter. Twitter tracks her location also, but we’ve not yet seen the claim from Schieve that Elon Musk might kill her.

Hillary Schieve and Jessica Sferrazza (Photo: Open Source)

Mayor Schieve also has close personal and professional relationship with registered Democrat Jessica Sperrazza, who has an interesting criminal record of violence, documented by The Review Journal:

According to the article, the charges stemmed from a dispute with a 17-year-old former friend to whom Sferrazza was accused of making as many as 20 threatening and obscene phone calls in a day. The Sparks newspaper also reported Sferrazza harassed the girl at work and sent her threatening mail. The case culminated in a hair-pulling fist fight in a McDonald’s parking lot on June 9, 1992, the article reported.

“Jessica Sferrazza, who is running in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Republican Brian Krolicki, was charged with battery and convicted of harassment in 1992, when she was 19 years old.

Sferrazza was given one year of probation and ordered to attend anger control sessions as the result of a plea bargain. In exchange, a battery charge was dropped, and case records [were] sealed at her request.”

It’s interesting that Schieve is unafraid of Sferrazza despite such a horrific battery and assault that caused bodily harm by this former Reno City Council Member. Not only are they close friends, they serve on the RSCVA Board together.

This documented history of violence involving Sferrazza is concerning. And yet, Schieve feels a GPS tracker is a gateway to murder, as she uses Twitter and a SmartPhone which tracks her whereabouts on a daily basis. GPS trackers don’t hurt people, people hurt people.

Sferrazza’s ex-husband is Jon Ralston, CEO of The Nevada Independent.

Before their divorce in 2017, Ralston published that his wife, Sferrazza, is a political lobbyist in Reno–touching upon his desire for transparency and journalistic integrity.


Thankfully, The Nevada Independent publishes a list of their donors who fund their reporting. Keep in mind, Ralston claims his blog is an independent news organization.

Yet, his largest donor is a man by the name of Stephen J. Cloobeck, weighing in at donating $1,100,000 to this regional publication in Reno. Who is Stephen Cloobeck?

Cloobeck is not only known for dating Canadian-based OnlyFans model and porn star Stefanie Gurzanski, he is also a significant donor to Democratic PAC’s and causes.

In June 2011, he donated $100,000 to Majority PAC, a PAC oriented to promoting Democratic candidates to the US Senate. The donation was sent as a check from JHJM Nevada I, LLC, which made the source not readily evident.

On June 3, 2016, Cloobeck donated $1,000,000 to Priorities USA Action, a pro-Hillary Clinton PAC. Priorities USA Action is a progressive Political Action Committee and is the Democratic Party Super PAC. Founded in 2011, it supported Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. It was the primary super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign. It focused mainly on high-dollar donors. 

As of September 2016, it had amassed $132 million in support of Clinton. The top six donors to the super PAC have given $43.5 million, which is a third of the money collected by Priorities USA Action in the 2016 election cycle. The super PAC raised $21.7 million in August 2016, marking its largest monthly fundraising haul.

Reno City Councilman, Vice Mayor Devon Reese (Photo: @votereese)

Other donors to The Nevada Independent include

Friends of Hillary Schieve: $2,000

Reno Councilman and Vice Mayor Devon Reese: $2,000. Reese is also notable for recent ethics charges following an investigation.

Jessica Sferrezza: $5,330

Abbi Whitaker: $2,900  of The Abbi Agency – with an office in Ukraine, Whitaker was also Schieve’s chief campaign consultant during her 2014 bid for mayor and 2018 re-election bid.

Adam Hosmer-Henner: $500. Schieve’s Attorney in the GPS Tracker Lawsuit

Since 2014, Schieve ran on a city council ticket claiming she is non-partisan.

On August 25, 2016, Schieve endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in the 2016 General Election after Schieve declined to endorse candidates in the primary.

There seems to be a pattern of dishonesty going on for almost ten years and that Schieve has transparency and honesty issues.

Despite chumming with a person who has a history of violence and battery, despite using social media platforms which track her whereabouts every time she uses a SmartPhone, and despite the fact she agreed to forego personal privacy when she chose to run for public office, Schieve is fast and loose on using dangerous terms about bodily harm, when no such crime occurred. Not only that, her use of the terms non-partisan and independent is intentionally misleading. 

Refusing to be transparent about her Democrat Party affiliation, seemingly to deceive the public at large to garner votes on both sides of the aisle for over a decade now is interesting.  To watch Schieve mislead the public about bodily harm while associating with a woman who has a record of violence could come up in court, as well as the fact that Schieve and her attorney both donated to a publication intermingled with powerful democratic donors.

This TrackerGate case has only just begun and discovery could reveal more than the identity of the private investigator’s client. It may also reveal what else Mayor Schieve, and others, may be hiding and why they were being investigated.



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