Home>Articles>Clark County, Gypsum Resources Reach $80M Settlement In Red Rock Development Lawsuit

Commissioner Justin Jones, District F (Photo: @JustinJonesNV)

Clark County, Gypsum Resources Reach $80M Settlement In Red Rock Development Lawsuit

A federal judge ruled that Democratic Commissioner Justin Jones willfully lied to the court and destroyed evidence in relation to a Gypsum Resources housing development

By Megan Barth, June 11, 2024 11:49 am

Late Monday, Clark County announced that the county and Gypsum Resources LLC have reached a proposed settlement of $80 million after a federal judge found that Democratic Commissioner Justin Jones (District F) willfully lied to the court and destroyed evidence in relation to a Gypsum Resources housing development approved near Red Rock Canyon. The settlement avoids a potential $2 billion judgement and will be presented to the board at the June 18 meeting.

The Globe has extensively covered this scandal as his fellow Democrats on the partisan commission–and statewide–have simply ignored it.

In a previous report by The Las Vegas Review Journal, Commissioner Jones had been accused by attorneys of Gypsum Resources of deleting public records (text messages) and colluding with then-Clark County Commissioner, candidate for Governor Steve Sisolak to impede their development efforts in Red Rock Canyon.

At the time of Gypsum’s development agreement with Clark County, Attorney Jones had worked pro-bono for Save Red Rock. During Jones’ campaign for County Commissioner, he vowed to oppose Gypsum’s development plans within his first 100 days of office.

Gypsum Resources’ lawyers reportedly obtained a text message thread between Jones and the former head of Nevada Conservation League Andy Maggi in October 2018, in which Jones said, “Well, I’m doing my part. If Sisolak doesn’t want to play, then it’s going to blow up in his face tomorrow.”

Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones checks his phone during a meeting (Photo: @DrewForNevada)

A court-ordered forensic audit of Jones’ cell phone and iCloud accounts found that all of Jones’s text messages leading up to the April 2019 vote on Gypsum’s development agreement were deleted and unrecoverable. The earliest messages on Jones’s phone were from roughly six hours after the commission voted unanimously to deny Gypsum Resource’s request to waive a condition and proceed with their preliminary plan to develop 3,000 homes.

Due to the actions of Justin Jones, Steve Sisolak, and others, Gypsum Resources was forced to file bankruptcy and was seeking restitution in excess of $2 billion in damages.

Terms of the settlement reduce the potential for up to 5,026 homes, previously approved by a prior board, to 3,500 homes and diverts traffic from Scenic Route 159 to Route 160, pending Bureau of Land Management (BLM) right of way approval. If the BLM grant is not secured within two years, the County will begin to pay up to $6 million.

Additionally, once the final map is approved, the County will be able to acquire, for one dollar, 192 acres of “environmentally sensitive” land located in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

“While an $80 million payment is significant for the County, by reprioritizing and reallocating funds for planned capital projects and other economic development projects not yet underway, the settlement will not have a detrimental impact on services nor will it require a reduction in staff. The County will continue to identify sources of funding that will not impact the important services the County provides to the community. Without the settlement, a larger judgement could have had an adverse impact on the County and the community,” the County stated.

In the wake of the federal court’s decision, Jones stepped down as Vice Chair of the commission, but remains on the board and still retains his law license, despite a federal judge’s ruling.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Megan Barth
Spread the news:

 RELATED ARTICLES

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *