Monday, November 14, 2011

Fallout from 2010 election continues

The fire of the 2010 US Senate race in Nevada was nothing compared to the White Pine County Clerk’s race.

Let’s face it.  The County Commission race was a fait accompli – a foregone conclusion.  When one incumbent receives 33% of the vote and the other received just 20% of the vote, it was a sign of a real desire for change at the County level. 

But the heat between JoAnn Malone and Lin Burleigh, well, that’s a fire that still hasn’t subsided.  From the opening salvo from Burleigh who placed a large campaign sign across from Malone’s Big Apple Restaurant to the firing of Burleigh over obviously trumped upcharges and a poorly written directive memo, to the final 62-38% margin of victory by Burleigh, the story is yet to be finished.

Earlier this year the Nevada State Ethics commission decided that Burleigh’s Ethics Complaint was worth considering, and referred the matter to the full Ethics Commission for Hearing.  According to the panel’s unanimous opinion:

1)  Just and  sufficient cause exists for the Commission to hold a hearing and  render an opinion whether Malone violated  NRS 281A.020 by failing to avoid conflicts between her private interests and those of  the public she serves.

2)  Just and  sufficient cause exists for  the Commission to  hold a hearing and  render an opinion whether Malone violated NRS 281A.400(2) by using her office to seek or grant unwarranted privileges,  preferences and advantages when she suspended and subsequently terminated the employment of  her opponent and  subordinate,  Lin Burleigh, during the course of  her campaign for the November 2010 election.

3)  Just and sufficient cause exists for the Commission to  hold a hearing and  render an opinion whether Malone violated NRS 281A.400(7) by allegedly being constantly absent from the Clerk's office despite collecting a full-time salary while attending to her personal business as part-owner of  Ely's Big Apple Restaurant.

4)  Just and sufficient cause exists for the Commission to hold a hearing and render an opinion whether Malone violated NRS 281A.400(9) by using her position to benefit her personal interest in being  reelected, when she issued an internal memo regarding voter registrations and then used it to  suspend and subsequently terminate Burleigh with the assistance of  Human Resource Director LaVerne Bohn.

Therefore, the Investigatory Panel  refers these four allegations to the Commission for further consideration.

Now the County is looking at restructuring, HR chief Bohn is resigning, and arrogance continues in both City and County Government. 

One step forward, three steps backward. 


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