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Sandoval opposes independent counsel for GCB, ‘proud’ of Laxalt

Updated May 22, 2017 - 8:47 pm

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval on Monday said he would not support independent counsel for the state’s gaming regulators.

Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, held a hearing last week on AB513, which would remove the attorney general’s office as counsel for the Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission and provide the bodies with independent counsel. Carlton brought the bill after learning of a secret recording made by Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett of a conversation he had with Attorney General Adam Laxalt last year.

During the joint meeting of Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance to discuss the bill, lawmakers questioned Burnett and Laxalt about their recorded conversation. The two men discussed a case involving Las Vegas Sands Corp. and the legal strategy to protect the confidentiality of information given to the Gaming Control Board.

“I’ve had the opportunity to visit with the gaming regulators and with the attorney general’s office,” Sandoval said. “I think everybody agrees that this is an isolated incident and that there’s no need to provide for independent counsel.”

Sandoval made the comments to a Reno television reporter after a news conference with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. The Review-Journal obtained a recording of Sandoval’s comments.

“It was important to have that hearing,” the Republican said. “It was important to get the facts out there. But now that all the facts are out there, I think everybody understands that it’s time to move on. And as I said, having spoken with regulators, they’re comfortable with the representation they’re getting.”

“We’re proud of our regulatory system,” Sandoval said. “We have the best regulatory system in the world. We’re proud of our attorney general’s office and our attorney general.”

Laxalt is a possible Republican candidate for governor in 2018.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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