If it wasn’t already clear that Governor Joe Lombardo tried to stack the deck and dodge accountability by appointing two cronies to the Nevada Ethics Commission days before the Commission’s hearing on his violations of state ethics laws, new reporting from the Nevada Current highlights just how brazen his scheme was.
One of Lombardo’s handpicked appointees voted to sanction a current trustee State Fire Marshal lieutenant for wearing his uniform and badge in campaign photos–the same violation that he attempted to protect Lombardo from facing the consequences of–and is now days later claiming he doesn’t remember the vote.
Nevada State Democratic Party Executive Director Hilary Barrett released the following statement:
“If it wasn’t clear that Joe Lombardo’s office was a den of corruption, it is now. This wasn’t a lapse in memory–this is a result of the ‘rules for thee, not for me’ office that Lombardo has worked to create since taking power. After being sanctioned for willfully and repeatedly violating ethics laws, we know this isn’t the end of Lombardo’s scheme to avoid being held accountable.”
- When Gov. Joe Lombardo named two law enforcement-friendly members to the Nevada Ethics Commission days before a July hearing on his use of his sheriff’s badge and uniform during his 2022 campaign for governor, Lombardo declined to comment on the optics of doing so.
- Predictably, Lombardo’s two cop-friendly picks – former cop Stan Olsen and John Moran III, grandson of former Clark County Sheriff John Moran, cast the dissenting votes.
- Moments later, Olsen joined his colleagues in voting to sanction Washoe County School District trustee Joseph Rodriguez, a lieutenant with the State Fire Marshal, for wearing his uniform and badge in campaign photos – the same offense Olsen voted to let slide in Lombardo’s case.
- Reached by phone Wednesday, Olsen said he was unaware he cast a vote in Rodriguez’ case, and was unable to explain the apparent double standard.
- “The guy doesn’t ring a bell,” he said.