Keith Munro, former Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn's late-term appointee to the state Gaming Control Board, was expected to step down Wednesday and take a position as chief of staff for the attorney general, The Associated Press has learned.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto wouldn't confirm or deny that Munro will take the new post in her office. Munro, who formerly served as a chief deputy in the attorney general's office, wasn't immediately available for comment.
It wasn't immediately clear whether Cortez Masto would complete a legal opinion on the validity of former Gov. Guinn's appointment of Munro to the GCB and new Gov. Jim Gibbons' appointment of Randy
Sayre, the Control Board's veteran chief of staff, to the panel that oversees Nevada's multi-billion-dollar casino industry.
Because of the clashing appointments, the board was meeting in Las Vegas on Wednesday with just two members, Dennis Neilander and
Mark Clayton. Neilander, the board chairman, had requested the opinion from Cortez Masto in efforts to resolve the dispute over the appointments.
Gibbons has defended his move to dump Munro, saying it wasn't political. He said he named Sayre in an effort to preserve "the integrity of the most respected gaming institution that we have in this state and, in fact, worldwide."
Gibbons also has denied he took his oath of office at midnight on New Year's Eve in his Reno home to bolster the legal argument that was used by the new Republican governor to undermine the former GOP governor's appointment of Munro, who had been Guinn's chief of staff for the past year.
Gibbons chief of staff Mike Dayton has said Gibbons believes he had the power to appoint Sayre because he took office at the point that the Control Board position officially became vacant.
Gibbons became governor about 12 seconds after midnight, marking
the first midnight oath of office in Nevada history.
Gibbons insisted security concerns prompted him to take office as soon as possible. He also said he wanted to share the occasion
with his closest friends.
Based on previous articles in the news media, it appears that former Governor Kenny Guinn made an illegal appointment based solely on cronyism and not on the state's best interests. Thankfully, we have a governor that stands up for Nevadans and that is exactly why the people of this great state voted for Governor Jim Gibbons. Just because some catastrophe did not happen on New Years Day after 12:01 AM doesn't mean we should have been denied the leadership of our new governor. After all, we voted for him. The gaming control board should have the most qualified person. Mr. Sayre's extensive background in law enforcement is what was required of the open position. Governor Gibbons showed great leadership by putting our state first.
Mary Jane from Gardnerville
I don't know Mr. Munroe, but I do know Mr. Sayre. I worked with him for 8 years. He is a man of integrity and intelligence. He knows gaming regulations and compliance better then anyone. Governor Gibbons chose the very best person for the job. I expect Mr. Sayre to be the Board chairman one day. His experience with the GBC alone out qualifies Mr. Munroe.