Commissioners did, however, admonish Gammick for exercising poor judgment during hearing testimony.
The ethics complaint against Gammick alleged that he misused his position and county resources for political gain at a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) in August and at a University of Nevada, Reno football tailgate in September.
Chris Wedge, campaign manager for Gammick’s election opponent, Roger Whomes, filed the complaint last year.
Most specifically, the complaint said Gammick had used a government-issued laptop and distributed campaign signs during a presentation to the RJC and that his county-issued vehicle was used as a campaign prop at the football rally, all tools to promote his candidacy and drum up constituent support.
The incidents, captured in both video and photographs, called into question whether taxpayer-funded resources were used to further political agendas, a violation of Nevada ethics laws.
“There needs to be as bright a line as possible” between professional duties and campaign activities, Wedge said in testimony.
Gammick, meanwhile, testified that he did not believe he had violated any laws. He said the RJC event was not political in nature but rather an appearance on behalf of the his office.
The football tailgate was indeed a campaign event, Gammick said, but his county vehicle was not used to solicit interest in his campaign.
Even though a majority of commission members sided with Gammick, several did express concern that his actions constituted the appearance of impropriety.
“It may not rise to the level of a violation,” commission Chair John Moran said, “but it is a problem.”
When asked whether he would have acted differently given the chance, Gammick acknowledged that hindsight had pushed him to believing so.
“After going through all this,” he said, “yes sir, I sure would.”
Gammick faced a number of civil penalties if he had been found in violation of ethics laws, the most severe being removal from office.
At the end of his testimony, Gammick said he took ethics laws seriously and had striven during his time in office to abide by them will the fullest of considerations. He also said he had gotten the message delivered by the commission that public officials are held to a higher standard of practice.
“I have heard you, Mr. Chair,” Gammick said.