CARSON CITY — Nevada’s budget woes have resulted in less security for the state’s first lady, Dawn Gibbons, who is going through divorce proceedings started by Gov. Jim Gibbons.
The governor’s press secretary, Ben Kieckhefer, said Monday that Dawn Gibbons is being provided security for official events that she attends "in her capacity as first lady."
"But for other things, like going to the gym or to her mother’s house, she doesn’t need security protection for that," Kieckhefer said. "It’s not necessary to spend taxpayer dollars to have security sitting around waiting for her."
Kieckhefer said the cutback was proposed "at the senior staff level" in the governor’s office and not by Jim Gibbons.
The governor signed off on the plan, and it took effect last week.
Kieckhefer said that Jim Gibbons often drives himself to nonofficial events and that the staff’s opinion was "the first lady should do the same."
Because of budget problems, the protection detail used for security for the governor, the first lady and for any visiting governors or other dignitaries has been reduced from five to four Highway Patrol troopers, Kieckhefer said.
Jim Gibbons and lawmakers have approved budget cuts to cope with a projected revenue shortfall of nearly $1.2 billion.
Jim Gibbons, 63, filed for divorce in May, citing incompatibility. Dawn Gibbons, 54, saying the governor was involved with another woman, moved for public proceedings.