Gibbons Helped Company that Hired His Wife

A defense company that got a federal contract with help from then-GOP Rep. Jim Gibbons, now governor of Nevada, hired Gibbons' wife to do consulting work, according to a published report Friday.

Dawn Gibbons was paid about $35,000 by Sierra Nevada Corp. of
Sparks, Nev., in 2004, the same year her husband, who sat on the
Armed Services and Intelligence committees, pushed for the company
to get a $4 million contract to make a helicopter radar system, the
Wall Street Journal reported.

An attorney for Jim Gibbons, was elected governor last November,
didn't immediately return a message left at his office. Dawn Gibbons couldn't immediately be reached for comment. The Gibbons' have denied wrongdoing.

The new report comes amid ongoing federal scrutiny of Jim Gibbons' business dealings. Federal law enforcement officials said last month that the FBI is investigating whether Gibbons failed to properly report gifts or payments from a software company that was awarded secret military contracts when he was in Congress.

The company involved in that case is eTreppid Technologies LLC of Reno, Nev., owned by Warren Trepp, a longtime Gibbons friend who
contributed nearly $100,000 to Gibbons' campaign for governor.

The case arose out of a civil lawsuit brought against Trepp by a one-time business partner. In the lawsuit, which involves ownership
of software codes, Trepp's former partner, Dennis Montgomery, made
allegations that Gibbons used his influence to steer tens of millions of dollars in military contracts to Trepp.

According to the Journal, a federal grand jury in Washington has begun issuing document subpoenas in that investigation.

The contract Dawn Gibbons got from Sierra Nevada was to conduct
market surveys and demonstrations of a hand-held emergency-communication device.

Sierra Nevada got a $2 million contract in 2004 for research to develop a landing system to help pilots land in "brownout" conditions. Gibbons sought $4 million for the project but Congress signed off on $2 million.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Gibbons told the Journal that there's no
relationship between Sierra Nevada's military contract and the payments to Dawn Gibbons.

Sierra Nevada and eTreppid also got classified contracts, and internal documents and e-mails reviewed by the Journal show ties between the two companies including a subcontracting relationship.

The payments by Sierra Nevada to Dawn Gibbons were made through
a consulting firm she set up called Politek Inc., whose biggest client was her husband's 2004 congressional campaign.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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