Ethics Commission Says No to Loux Offer

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - The Nevada Ethics Commission voted 3-2
Thursday to not accept a proposal by the former head of the state
Agency for Nuclear Projects to pay back more than $29,000 in salary
in exchange for dropping an ethics complaint filed against him.
The decision to not take the payment from Bob Loux means the
Ethics Commission will proceed with a March 12 evidentiary hearing
at which many current and former state officials, including former
Gov. Kenny Guinn, have been subpoenaed to attend.
Acting Ethics Commissioner Bob Weise said he couldn't accept the
payment from Loux "because there is no punishment here. ... All he
would be doing is giving back money that he should not have
received in the first place."
Commission members said they'd consider taking the payment if
Loux would admit to a "willful" violation of ethics law. But an
attorney for Loux refused the offer, saying that could adversely
affect Loux if criminal charges eventually were brought against
His attorneys also argued that while Guinn was serving as
governor he essentially delegated to Loux the authority to set his
agency's salaries.
Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, filed the ethics
complaint against Loux following a September legislative hearing
where Loux admitted to taking the salary of an employee who had
retired and dividing it up among his staff and himself.
Gov. Jim Gibbons released results of an audit that showed Loux
and his staff for at least three years allegedly received as much
as a third more than their approved salaries.
According to the Gibbons administration, Loux made a $151,442
salary last year when he was entitled to $114,088. Governors of
Nevada earn $141,000 a year.
Loux resigned and was recently replaced by Bruce Breslow as head
of the Agency for Nuclear Projects. Loux spent 23 years running the
office and working to block federal plans for building a nuclear
waste dump at Yucca Mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.