State senator stickler for NRS. 218E witness testimony

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 6:54 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - “Pursuant to Nevada Revised Statue 218E.085 it is unlawful for a person to knowingly misrepresent facts when testifying before a legislative committee.”

As chairman of Senate Commerce and Labor, this is how Senator Pat Spearman begins her meetings.

She is quoting from a Nevada Revised Statute which states it is unlawful to willfully misrepresent facts when testifying. Those who do so are guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Senator Spearman says there’s a difference between fact and opinion, and those testifying need to state their testimony as such.

“You can’t come to the table and just make stuff up,” says Senator Spearman.

Spearman says she learned about the statute in 2013 while serving in the legislature.

Rarely does she have to remind those who testify about the NRS. But we were there on that rare occasion last Monday, January 20, 2023 when someone who was testifying against Senate Bill 131, had this to say.

“I would like to point out some things that everyone else, I would like to add ditto,” one woman testified from Las Vegas. She went on, “You are doing a great job, making Margaret Sanger’s dream come true by eradicating black people,” said the woman who wore a “Democrats fund black genocide” tee shirt.

Spearman jumped in. “Ma’am, hello?” she said. “Your two minutes are up…so, before you leave, I said in the opening, I don’t know if you were here, you can state your opinion,”

The woman jumped in. “It is well documented,” she said to Spearmen.

Spearman responded. “Hello, thank you, I am the chair here so let me talk…so I am going to give you 48 hours just like I did the other person, 48 hours to bring proof, I am not going to look it up because I did not state it at fact.”

If the documentation is not provided in the prescribed time frame, Spearman says the person trans scribing the hearing for the record will put that portion of the testimony down as the person’s opinion.

Spearman says she a stickler for such rules. She suspects it goes to her military training as part of the military police force.

Writing her dissertation, she says her professor reinforced what she already understood.

“I don’t care what you think. It is what you can prove,” Spearman says the professor would say.

The senator says you can have an opinion and express it at any one of her hearings. Just make sure to state it as such, on the record.

“You don’t put your hand on the bible when you are at the witness table,” Spearman explains. “But it is presumed that you are testifying under oath. Because this is a legal proceeding. And if you come to any committee I am chairing, and you make stuff up, I am going to ask you to present your proof. Then we will make the distinction. This is not fact, this is opinion. And that’s OK.”