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Former Minden assemblyman files complaint against successor

CARSON CITY — Former District 39 Assemblyman Kelly Kite, R-Minden, filed a complaint Monday with the secretary of state’s office that makes various charges against current Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, who beat Kite in the 2012 Republican primary.

Kite raised questions about whether Wheeler lives in the district, why he failed to list his debts and sources of income on his financial disclosure statement, and why he did not list a tax lien from Michigan.

“Some people may think honesty is a nonissue or that lying to voters is all right,” Kite said. “I disagree. Wheeler appears to be hopping from state to state, one step ahead of bill collectors. Hiding his sources of income may work in his favor with the debts, but he owes voters the facts.”

Wheeler said he never lived in Michigan nor had a business there, so he knew nothing about any debt.

Kite also released a photo of Wheeler’s vehicle parked at a house outside the district. In an interview last summer, Wheeler said he spends a lot of time with his girlfriend in Washoe Valley. But he said Monday that Douglas County is his permanent residence and he is finalizing a rental agreement to move into a new home in the district. His girlfriend will live there, too, he said.

“This is the ultimate sour grapes,” Wheeler said about Kite, who he said plans to challenge him in 2014.

Kite released Wheeler’s recent financial disclosure statement that shows no debts over $5,000. He also released a tax lien from the Michigan Department of Taxation that shows that a Floyd J. Wheeler III of Whitesboro, Texas, in 2008 owed withholding taxes of $6,186. He also released information about judgments against Wheeler in California. Wheeler’s full name is Floyd James Wheeler.

Besides filing the complaint with the secretary of state, Kite filed it with the Assembly Select Committee on Ethics. In most cases, legislators are not subject to rulings of the state Ethics Commission.

Wheeler won a decisive victory over Kite in the primary largely because he emphasized that Kite supported extending $620 million in tax increases that otherwise would have expired after the 2011 legislative session. Gov. Brian Sandoval had sought the tax extension both that year and again in 2013.

“This is a very conservative district, and because of that I am very conservative,” Wheeler said. “Kelly has a different record.”

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900.

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