Later, on Feb. 15, 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported Gibbons was under federal investigation for allegedly accepting unreported gifts from Trepp in exchange for political favors.
Too bad no one told Trepp’s wife about the suspicious payoff. Just before Trepp and his wife left for a Caribbean cruise with the governor and first lady, Trepp’s wife sent him a reminder. It read, “Please don’t forget to bring the money you promised Jim and Dawn.” In a matter of minutes, Trepp responded, “Don’t you ever send this kind of message to me! Erase this message from your computer right now.” Evidently, she forgot.
Gibbons likes to throw his political weight around. On Aug. 3, 2007, it was reported that Gibbons was under investigation by federal authorities because he “has admitted” that he urged federal authorities to seek a criminal action against a software company that had a business dispute with one of his favorite business friends and campaign contributors.
Then there was the sexual assault charge. In October 2006, a woman accused Gibbons of an attempted sexual assault in a parking garage in Las Vegas. Gibbons claimed he was just helping her to her car. Right! Maybe he was helping her find the keys in all the wrong places.
Gibbons’ Republican friends came to his rescue. Las Vegas Sheriff Bill Young, a donor to the Gibbons campaign, cited the lack of evidence and refused to present what he had to the district attorney. The woman finally filed a complaint anyway. Gibbons hired a private investigator to “talk” to the woman. Later she said she was being pressured not to talk.
But the evidence was finally given to District Attorney David Roger. Roger, also a Republican campaign contributor to Gibbons, decided there wasn’t enough evidence to file charges against the future governor.
In another incident, Gibbons was accused of hiring an undocumented housekeeper, Patricia Sandoval. His wife Dawn denied the allegations. She said Sandoval was a friend, not an employee, who helped out around the house and in return she was given clothing and household goods. Evidence showed there was an employment contract between Sandoval and Mrs. Gibbons laying out the terms and conditions of her employment. Sandoval’s 1988 application for working papers also contradict the statement that Gibbons didn’t know the woman was here illegally.
Sandoval said she was employed by Gibbons from 1987 to 1993. She said she was asked to hide in the basement and not to answer the door so her illegal status wouldn’t become known and jeopardize the Gibbons’ careers.
Every time Gibbons turns around, his past catches up to him. To prove Gibbons doesn’t have a creative brain in his head, he even resorted to plagiarism to make himself look good. He gave a speech in Elko in February 2005. The problem was he didn’t write it. He delivered a copyrighted speech written in 2004 by the then-Alabama state auditor Beth Chapman for a “Stand Up, America” rally.
Gibbons might be investigated for using his state-owned cell phone for personal use. If that is true, can you imagine the governor of Nevada being guilty of violating his own states code of ethics.
All of this being said, it is no surprise to learn that Jim Gibbons pressured the Elko County Assessor Joe Aguirre for a tax break on his 40 acres near Lamoille. He purchased it in August 2007 for $575,000. The land was designated as residential and taxed about $5,0000 annually. By changing the zoning to agricultural, the taxes are $15 per year. Aguirre, a Republican himself, said, “To say I was put in an awkward position, I think, is an understatement.”
The land would have to be capable of generating $5,000 or more annually to qualify for agricultural status. That being impossible, Judge Whitehead issued two checks for a little more than $5,000 for a 2007 agricultural lease to Gibbons. Since Gibbons could now prove he made more than the $5,000 minimum requirement, he received the zoning change – even though Whitehead probably had no intentions of using it for that purpose. Talk about a shady deal.
It’s time for Gibbons to resign as governor. With a 22-percent approval rating and a scandalous history, it’s time for him to move on. Maybe Raggio can talk him into it.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at email@example.com. His Web site is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.