Many thanks to ?anonymous.?
Marilyn Nadeau, Panaca
Look out Lincoln County. Kevin Phillips has just been named Chairman of the Lincoln County Commissioners and we are all in for a bumpy ride with him at the helm. For those of you who don?t know, Mr. Phillips has a lengthy history of openly violating Nevada?s Open Meeting Laws. In fact, when he and his cronies were investigated for violations relating to their ?secret? meetings re: Yucca Mountain (see Pahrump Valley Times 10/22/04), Mr. Phillips stated he believes it?s much easier to function outside the public forum and he believes they can get more done without public input.
The Attorney General who reviewed that case stated the group?s actions of exclusion, secrecy, etc., amounted to ?criminal violations of the law.? As happens in many of these cases, the deadline for filing OML violations had passed and there was no formal investigation. Sound familiar? This is the same thing the Secret Alliance did with the Ashley Hall/Area 51 scandal. Make sure there can be no timely complaints by keeping their actions secret until the (120) day time-frame has expired.
Let?s not forget the Paris trip he and his wife enjoyed a couple of years later in violation of the law.
It should be interesting to see how many of these violations he attempts in the future and how willing the remainder of the Board is to follow his lead. If I was one of the Board members, I would insist on written legal opinions from the District Attorney in order to protect myself from future court actions resulting from their questionable acts and actions.
If you can?t prove you were acting on the advice of legal counsel, is that a valid defense?
Does anyone else think it?s questionable that the recently elected officials did not use a Bible in taking their oaths of office? If it?s good enough for our Governor and the President of the United States, why not our own officials? Perhaps that?s why they have little regard for the laws of this state. They obviously believe they are a law unto themselves (some of them anyway).