Governor says economic stimulus coordinator quitting

CARSON CITY -- Gov. Jim Gibbons said Wednesday that Charles Harvey, the state stimulus coordinator he hired in September over objections of legislators, is quitting.

Gibbons said he soon will appoint a replacement for the $125,783-a-year post.

To pay for the position -- called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act state director -- the governor sought and received permission from the Board of Examiners to request $112,998 in contingency funds to cover part of the salaries for the director and two assistants.

That leaves it to legislators, who meet today as members of the Interim Finance Committee, to decide whether to fund a position they never wanted.

Gibbons issued an executive order authorizing Harvey's initial hiring.

The stimulus director tracks spending of the $2.3 billion in federal stimulus money allocated to Nevada to make sure it is spent as intended.

Also, the committee will hear state Controller Kim Wallin's request for $125,980 to cover costs of paying the salary of her stimulus coordinator.

Legislators had authorized Wallin to hire a stimulus coordinator last year, although Gibbons balked initially at having state agency heads work with the controller.

Wallin hired Mary Keating, a former state budget officer, as her stimulus coordinator.

Keating is a former state budget officer who Gibbons in 2008 accused of leaking information to the news media about text messages he made to Kathy Karrasch. Gibbons wife, Dawn, accused him of having an affair with Karrasch.

Keating filed a federal lawsuit against Gibbons accusing him of making defamatory statements about her.

The governor objected earlier this month when the Board of Examiners voted to let Wallin seek the funds to cover pay for Keating in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3901.