It doesn’t sound like the original winner of Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen pageant intends to step aside after a scoring irregularities scandal.
Rick and Geri Smith of Henderson suggested via email on Saturday that their daughter, Amy, may be the victim of feuding pageant factions at the state level of the Miss America Organization.
The parents told the Review-Journal, “It appears we may have been caught in the crossfire of a much longer-standing conflict, one which well precedes our daughters’ participation in pageants, and which has never involved our family.”
On June 1, they were the proud parents of the first sisters to sweep Nevada’s Miss America state titles in the same year.
Ellie Smith, 17, won Nevada’s Miss America title and Amy, 15, was voted Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen in the state pageant, which was held at Las Vegas Academy.
Last week, the validity of Amy’s title was thrown into question when Donna Bozarth, chairwoman of the Miss America Outstanding Teen board, told parents an audit by the national office uncovered scoring errors.
Bozarth, in a statement, said that due to an “unfortunate situation” Nevada would be sending two Outstanding Teen contestants to the national competition. The actual winner, based on the audit, has yet to be officially identified, and it’s not been confirmed if she plans to compete in Orlando, Fla., this week.
So far, only the Smiths are talking.
Bozarth, through a second party, declined to address a number of unanswered questions on Saturday. Bozarth’s publicist did not respond to emails asking for clarification of the status of Amy Hacker, the executive director of the Miss Nevada Organization.
I asked Rick Smith to address his family’s rumored close relationship with Hacker, who could not be reached for comment.
“We regard all those in and around the pageants as friends,” he said via email. “We have been friends with several of the young women and their families for years, including the Hart’s.”
Haleyann Hart’s name has surfaced as the rightful winner but is not confirmed.
Rick Smith continued: “As a developer I have known Tim Hacker since his time as city manager in Mesquite.” Hacker, the former North Las Vegas city manager, is married to Amy Hacker.
“We accept the organization’s position that there was a mistake in one of the scoring areas, and we have accepted their very difficult resolution in their willingness to extend the title to both young women.”
He added, “We stand by the MAOT’s statement supporting Amy as Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen, and we are especially proud of Amy’s gracious support of the organization’s decision. Amy will have a crown for a year, her character, for a lifetime.”
He concluded, “Above all, our family has a well-established record of honor and service within this community. As such, any suggestion of any impropriety on our part would not be easily dismissed.”
MADDUX’S PROPHETIC LETTER
When Las Vegan Greg Maddux was notified earlier this year that he was being inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame, he went to his bullpen of buddies for a favor.
He asked local author Jack Sheehan to write Maddux’s article for the Hall of Fame program for today’s induction in Cooperstown, N.Y. Sheehan also helped Maddux with his acceptance speech.
Maddux will join five others, including former Atlanta Braves teammate and fellow pitcher Tom Glavine and longtime Braves manager Bobby Cox. The other three inductees are managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa and longtime White Sox slugger Frank Thomas.
This anecdotal gem surfaced in Sheehan’s interview with Maddux’s former Valley High School coach Rodger Fairless.
During Maddux’s first pro season, in Pikeville, Ky., he sent Fairless a thank-you note for teaching him the fundamentals of the game and included an update on his early performances at Pikeville.
Fairless still has the letter. He keeps it in a safe deposit box, knowing it could be worth something someday.
At the bottom of the letter, Maddux had confidently scribbled, “You might want to save this letter.”
Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, partying Friday in a bungalow at Encore Beach Club (Wynn). His party included New York Knicks veteran J.R. Smith ... NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, dining at Andrea’s (Encore) with girlfriend, Dallas model Tracy Ripsin ...“Wheel of Fortune” star Vanna White, with Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss at the most exclusive table at Fizz (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Friday. White had attended Goss’ show earlier in the evening ... Indiana Pacers star David West, hanging out at the Gaudi Bar at Sunset Station on Thursday night ... Actor Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor in “Smallville,” singing with Hal Savar at Vinyl on Thursday at the Hard Rock Hotel. Dancing to the music was Cuba Gooding Jr.
THE PUNCH LINE
“The 17-year-old daughter of one of the ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ was arrested today for DUI and driving on a suspended license. She’s expected to receive 12 months of probation and a spinoff.” — Seth Meyers
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.