By BRENDAN RILEY
CARSON CITY — First lady Dawn Gibbons wants a judge to order Gov. Jim Gibbons, who has filed for a divorce, to immediately start paying for private security for her now that he has limited her Nevada Highway Patrol security detail to official events.
Washoe County Family Court records show that a lawyer for Dawn Gibbons filed an emergency motion for the private security three days after the governor’s office confirmed that Nevada’s budget problems led to a cutback in the Highway Patrol security coverage.
An attorney for the governor followed up with a response, disclosed in a court posting Friday, opposing the motion. Only one-sentence summaries of the documents were available from the court because most of the case files have been sealed.
Dawn Gibbons’ attorney, Cal Dunlap, declined to elaborate on the emergency motion he filed. The governor’s attorney, Gary Silverman, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Ben Kieckhefer, Gibbons’ press secretary, confirmed Sept. 8 that Dawn Gibbons gets security for official events that she attends as first lady. But he said security isn’t being provided for other things, such as “going to the gym or to her mother’s house.”
Kieckhefer said the cutback was proposed “at the senior staff level” in the governor’s office, and the governor later signed off on it. He also said Gibbons often drives himself to nonofficial events, adding it was the staff’s opinion “the first lady should do the same.”
Because of budget problems, the dignitary protection detail used for security for the governor, the first lady and for any visiting governors or other dignitaries has been cut from five to four troopers, Kieckhefer added.
Gibbons and state lawmakers already have approved a long list of budget cuts in efforts to cope with a projected revenue shortfall of nearly $1.2 billion by the end of this fiscal year.
Dawn Gibbons, 54, is staying in a guest house on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City.
Gibbons, 63, sought but hasn’t been granted a court order awarding him sole occupancy of the taxpayer-supported mansion pending the outcome of the divorce case.
Gibbons filed for divorce in May, citing incompatibility.