Ethics complaint deal nets training, probation for Henderson mayor

Updated March 29, 2018 - 7:48 pm

Henderson Mayor Debra March was given probation and ordered to undergo training after a complaint against her was found credible by the Nevada ethics commission.

The deferral agreement comes nearly two months after a three-member Commission on Ethics unanimously found “sufficient credible evidence” that March didn’t disclose her relationship with the Henderson Community Foundation during City Council votes related to the foundation.

“I voluntarily entered into this agreement and as it makes clear, there have been no findings by the commission or any admission on my part that I violated any state ethics law,” said March in a statement. “I hope that my case results in a better understanding for all elected officials when it comes to the rules governing our involvement in activities with nonprofit organizations.”

Nevada Commission on Ethics Executive Director Yvonne M. Nevarez-Goodson said, “typically a training would involve a presentation by Commission staff regarding the provisions of the ethics law and relevant application or interpretation of the law by the Commission.”

According to Nevarez-Goodson, if March receives another ethics violation complaint during the probation period, “for which a review panel determines there is just and sufficient cause for the Commission to render an opinion in the matter.”

The three-member Commission on Ethics included Lynn Stewart, who was on the committee to elect March.

Stewart disclosed that he knows “March as a professional acquaintance; however, that relationship does not amount to a commitment in a private capacity under NRS 281A.065 and is insufficient to trigger the disclosure and abstention requirements of NRS 281A.420.”

Stewart resigned from the commission March 8.

If March fulfills the terms of the agreement, the Commission must dismiss the matter at the end of the one-year deferral period.

The ethics complaint was filed in September by former Henderson City Council candidate Thomas Wagner.

“In today’s political arena it seems people are getting sick of elected officials getting away with everything,” Wagner said. “Hopefully, this shows that the tide is turning and our elected officials are held accountable.”

Contact Sandy Lopez at slopez@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4686. Follow @JournalismSandy on Twitter.

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