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Nevada Secretary of State doesn’t disclose pension income

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, who is charged with policing statements that disclose the income of elected officials, failed to report her own pension income of about $11,000 over the past two years.

Cegavske said she inadvertently overlooked the payments.

“There was no intent, and I’m for full disclosure,” the Republican said.

Steven Malanga, a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute in New York, said the lack of disclosure indicates a potentially bigger problem.

“If it’s an oversight, then it suggests a shocking lack of attention to the law you are enforcing,” said Malanga, who researches pensions for the nonprofit think tank.

Barbara Cegavske PERS payment disclosure (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Cegavske isn’t alone in failing to disclose that she’s collecting a pension and a salary from taxpayers. Of about 70 elected officials in Nevada who are collecting a pension, eight did not report the information on their financial disclosures, a Review-Journal search of records shows.

After collecting a legislative pension since 2014, Cegavske did not disclose the payments until Jan. 17. She also amended her previous disclosures to reflect the pension.

She said she caught the mistake this year because changes to reporting requirements prompted her to review everything in her disclosure form.

“I have no problem being open and putting it out there,” she said.

Wayne Thorley, Cegavske’s deputy secretary for elections, said civil penalties are possible for failing to file accurate information. But since Cegavske took office, he said, there have been no fines for failing to disclose income.

Thorley said the agency does not have enough staff to review the reports and instead relies on complaints. Penalties are typically reserved for people who intend to hide income and fail to correct their disclosures, he said.

“If it is done inadvertently, we ask them to amend it,” he said.

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, a Democrat, has a $4,200 annual legislative pension on top of a $93,000 salary from Clark County. But she did not list the legislative pension on her disclosures until the Review-Journal questioned the omission.

“That’s an error on my part, and I will have to rectify it,” she said in January. “I didn’t even think of it.”

Contact Arthur Kane at akane@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ArthurMKane on Twitter.

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