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NV Dems Allege Special Treatment for Laxalt’s Campaign in Ethics Complaint Against AG’s Office

Yesterday, the NV Dems filed a complaint with the Nevada Commission on Ethics alleging that Attorney General Adam Laxalt has used his public office to benefit his gubernatorial campaign. Specifically, the NV Dems argue that Laxalt, through responding to public records requests, has used his public office to grant himself unwarranted privileges, acquire information not available to the public at the time and use it to benefit himself, and suppress a government document that could unfavorably affect his campaign.

The attorney general’s office has issued a response time of six or more months for more than 60 percent of all the substantive records requests the NV Dems have made this year, and more than one-third of those estimated response times are after Election Day. Meanwhile, Laxalt’s public office has responded the same day or the very next day to at least two records requests his campaign has submitted, which the NV Dems have received through their own records requests. For all but one records request the NV Dems have submitted, Laxalt’s office has waited the maximum period allowed by law, five business days, to acknowledge the request.

Also included in the NV Dems’ complaint is the fact that the attorney general’s office appears to have omitted a records request made by the Laxalt campaign in March 2018 from a response to a request from the NV Dems for all records requests made in the month of March. The supposedly previously submitted request from Laxalt’s campaign manager was dated March 22, requesting copies of all records requests made of the attorney general’s office on a rolling basis through November 5, 2018. In June, the NV Dems requested all public records requests received by the attorney general’s office in the month of March 2018. Laxalt’s office’s 105-page response did not include the March 22 request or any communications with the Laxalt campaign.

Nevada State Democratic Party executive director Alana Mounce released the following statement:

“Attorney General Laxalt’s taxpayer-funded office has repeatedly stonewalled requests for public information in order to shield his political campaign and his allies from potential damage. Meanwhile, his public office appears to be coordinating with his gubernatorial campaign to share information that would boost his political career. Nevada voters deserve to know whether Laxalt is taking advantage of his position as an elected official to promote his own campaign and benefit his bid for higher office.”

 

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