Ethics hearing delayed in case against Nevada governor

Governor Joe Lombardo
Governor Joe Lombardo(Dan Pyke)
Published: Jun. 13, 2023 at 3:31 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) - An ethics hearing expected to take place this week in a case against Nevada’s Republican governor has been postponed.

Gov. Joe Lombardo, the former Las Vegas-area sheriff, faces an almost $1.7 million penalty and possible censure for wearing his police badge and uniform in photos and on social media while campaigning last year for the governor’s mansion.

Ross Armstrong, executive director of the Nevada Commission on Ethics, told The Associated Press that the hearing has been rescheduled to July 25. The eight-member commission, which is charged with interpreting and enforcing state ethics laws, is expected to discuss the proposed penalties against Lombardo at the hearing before issuing an order.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Lombardo requested a new date after two commission members indicated they wouldn’t be able to attend this week’s hearing in person.

In legal filings, Lombardo’s attorneys have called the proposed penalties “eye-watering,” unprecedented and “based on his use of the same four images on social media during his gubernatorial campaign.”

The recommendation to the commission cites 68 violations of ethics laws. It also urges the appointment of an ethics compliance liaison to Lombardo’s office due to alleged violations of a state law barring public officers from using their positions “to secure or grant unwarranted privileges, preferences, exemptions or advantages.”

Lombardo served two elected terms as sheriff in Clark County — the administrative head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada’s largest police agency. He resigned in January when he became governor, after defeating Democratic incumbent Steve Sisolak in November.