This story has been updated to clarify that the ethics panel has deemed that “corrective action” will resolve the matter without further investigation by the state ethics commission.
Henderson Mayor Debra March violated Nevada law, but the ethics commission is giving her a slap on the wrist that could expunge the finding.
The 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.
March may be given training to correct the action, because although the review panel “reasonably believes that March’s alleged violations of the Ethics Law may appropriately be addressed through corrective action.”
“I respect the recommendation of the Commission and it’s my hope that this will help bring further clarity to this section of the ethics code for other elected officials,” March said in a statement Thursday.
“The commission has dismissed one of the two allegations against me and is offering to dismiss the second one without a finding that I violated any part of the state ethics code,” March said.
The unanimous decision comes almost five months after the ethics complaint was filed by former Henderson City Council candidate Thomas Wagner.
“It’s nice to see the board take action against this behavior and hopefully she will think about her actions when things come in front of her,” Wagner said in a text message.
The panel dismissed the allegation that March was required to abstain from voting. It also dismissed the complaint against Councilwoman Gerri Schroder regarding her ties with the foundation.
Campaign finance records show that Schroder’s campaign donated more than $7,500 to the Henderson Community Foundation, while March’s campaign donated $1,650. March and Schroder are members of the foundation’s chairman’s council.
The complaint claims March only disclosed her relationship with the foundation because she had launched an investigation into the Friends of the Henderson Police Department Foundation.
“Any ethics complaint is a betrayal of public trust,” Wagner said.