Governor Gibbons Asks FBI For Help

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons said Monday he has asked the FBI to conclude a probe into claims that he helped land lucrative defense contracts for a wealthy friend who owns a technology firm, and looks forward to "a positive outcome" in the case.

Gibbons, who was in Washington, D.C., last week for various meetings, said one of those sessions was with the FBI to discuss the case involving eTreppid Technologies owner Warren Trepp and a former key eTreppid staffer, Dennis Montgomery.

Lawyers for eTreppid and Montgomery last month reached a settlement over software used by the government in the war against terror. Under the agreement, Montgomery and his new employer, Blxware LLC, will retain ownership of the technology but will pay eTreppid a percentage of sales made in certain markets, the companies said.

Blxware, based in Bellevue, Wash., is owned by Edra Blixseth, co-founder of the Yellowstone Club resort in Montana frequented by the mega-rich.

Montgomery also agreed to pay Trepp some "compensation for certain allegations made" against him in the media, according to a statement released by Blxware.

In interviews over the past two years, Montgomery had told various media outlets that Trepp had given Gibbons money, casino chips and had taken him on a Caribbean cruise while he served in Congress in exchange for helping eTreppid land defense contracts.

"The lawsuit between eTreppid and Montgomery that sparked this false allegation is now settled, and I met briefly with investigators to request that they wrap up their review of Montgomery's accusations against me as well," Gibbons stated.

"I look forward to a positive outcome and putting this investigation behind me once and for all."

The first-term Republican governor also said he met with Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, officials from the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies to discuss energy issues such as the need for power transmission corridors across Nevada.

Gibbons said it's important to protect the sage grouse, but it shouldn't be listed as endangered because that could make it "virtually impossible to develop renewable energy in Nevada.

Additionally, broader economic development would be severely undermined."

The Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a petition in 2005 to add the bird to the list of threatened or endangered species. But a judge in Idaho overturned the decision last December amid allegations Interior Department managers interfered with the science used in assessing the sage grouse and dozens of other endangered species.

State and federal wildlife officials have been assessing the status of the bird in recent months, and USFWS is scheduled to issue a new listing decision in December.

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

AP-NY-10-20-08 2029EDT


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