For the second time in less than a year, the Henderson City Council is under state investigation for an alleged violation of the open meeting law.
The attorney general’s office is looking into a complaint filed by the Nevada Policy Research Institute after the City Council’s March 2 meeting.
In his complaint letter, NPRI’s Steven Miller questioned the council’s decision to hear two key reports from city staff during the time set aside for public comment.
The update on ongoing union negotiations and the report on the recent special session of the Legislature were not listed on the agenda for the March 2 meeting. As a result, the public was denied “the opportunity to decide whether to attend to hear or comment on the subject matter,” wrote Miller, who is vice president of the conservative Nevada think tank.
He also accused Mayor Andy Hafen of selectively enforcing the three-minute time limit on public comment by granting more time to a speaker with whom the council agreed than he did to a speaker with a complaint about the Henderson Police Department.
Henderson spokesman Bud Cranor said the open meeting law complaint is now under review by the city.
“We take these things very seriously. We always strive to comply totally, completely and thoroughly with the open meeting law,” he said.
City officials have until March 30 to respond to the complaint. The original deadline was today , but the city requested an extension, Cranor said.
In July, the Review-Journal filed an open meeting law complaint against the City Council over the use of secret ballots to help fill the vacancy left when councilman Andy Hafen was elected mayor.
The attorney general’s office eventually ruled that council members violated the law but took corrective action two weeks later by disclosing their votes.