CARSON CITY — A complaint that charges Assemblyman Bob Beers with violating the law by accepting contributions during the June 27 special legislative session was filed Wednesday with the state Ethics Commission.
Political consultant George Harris, publisher of Liberty Watch and state Republican Party finance chairman, filed the complaint accusing the Henderson Republican of violating a state law that prohibits legislators and the governor from accepting contributions during special sessions and for a period of 15 days after those sessions end.
During the special session, Beers received two contributions by credit card through a link on his Web site. Similar credit card links for six other legislators had been closed down.
“I have talked with the secretary of state and the problem has been dealt with,” Beers said.
One contribution to Beers was placed by Harris, who has been critical of his performance as a legislator.
Harris said Beers has not yet returned the $10 contribution he gave him.
The other contribution, $5, was made by the Review-Journal which tested lawmakers’ Web sites to determine whether any were accepting campaign donations.
When pointed out by a reporter that accepting of the contributions was illegal, Beers quickly shut down his Web site.
He also said on his Internet blog that it was because of “my error” in not shutting down the site that the contributions were made.
Under state law, the secretary of state’s office, not the Ethics Commission, enforces the political contributions law.
But Harris said that does not prevent him from filing the ethics complaint.
“I can file an ethics complaint because he violated the law,” Harris said.
Deputy Secretary of State Matt Griffin said his office had contacted Beers and Gov. Jim Gibbons, whose Web site also was accepting contributions, and was investigating what actions might be taken.
Those who violate the law can be fined as much as $5,000.
Griffin said a decision might be made in a couple of weeks.
Beers is not related to a better-known politician with the same name, Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-783-1760.