Judge Chastises Both Sides in Gov's Divorce Case

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - A judge chastised both sides in the divorce of Gov. Jim Gibbons and his wife, Dawn, and warned of possible sanctions and contempt citations if financial and other information is not exchanged.

In an order filed Aug. 19, Family Court Judge Frances Doherty noted that a June stipulation between the couple to try to resolve their differences without litigation has failed.

"The parties efforts to resolve this matter within the time frame and parameters of the stipulation were in some instances meritorious and in others obstructive," Doherty wrote. "In either case, such efforts have failed."

Doherty also said she had not ruled out possible sanctions.

"Each party alleges the other has violated terms of the stipulation such that sanctions are appropriate," she said. "It would appear from the pleadings that violations have occurred.

"Imposition of sanctions is presently reserved."

Doherty appointed a commissioner to set a schedule for the exchange of discovery materials, and ordered both sides to submit their financial disclosures to the court for review.

"Failure to do so many result in a finding of contempt ..." the order said.

While most of the case filings are sealed, court orders remain part of the public file.

Gibbons, 63, filed for divorce in May, citing incompatibility. Dawn Gibbons, 54, then moved for public proceedings, and accused the governor of being involved with another woman. Gibbons has denied having other romantic involvements.

In a separate order, Doherty denied Dawn Gibbons' motion seeking
a bill of particulars and definite statement on why he's seeking divorce, and allowed the governor "reasonable" attorney fees for having to respond to the motion.

"When the cause in incompatibility, a demand for particulars is spurious and serves no purpose," Doherty ruled.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)