Nevada Governor’s Ethics Hearing Postponed

The ethics hearing against Nevada’s Republican governor, Joe Lombardo, has been rescheduled to July 25 following a request by Lombardo’s legal team. The hearing, which was supposed to take place this week, would have discussed the proposed penalties against the governor for his alleged violation of state ethics laws.

The Nevada Commission on Ethics, which is made up of eight members, said that the meeting will be held to discuss the case before issuing an order. Lombardo faces an almost $1.7 million penalty for wearing his police badge and uniform in photos and on social media during his 2021 gubernatorial campaign.

In their legal filings, Lombardo’s attorneys called the proposed penalties “eye-watering,” unprecedented, and “based on his use of the same four images on social media during his gubernatorial campaign.”

The recommendation to the commission also cited 68 violations of ethics laws and urged the appointment of an ethics compliance liaison to Lombardo’s office. This was due to alleged violations of a state law that forbids public officers from using their positions “to secure or grant unwarranted privileges, preferences, exemptions, or advantages.”

Lombardo previously served two elected terms as the sheriff in Clark County, the administrative head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He defeated the Democratic incumbent Steve Sisolak in the November 2021 gubernatorial race and officially assumed the office in January 2022.

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The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Lombardo requested a new date for the hearing after two commission members indicated they would not be able to attend this week’s hearing in person.

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The alleged ethics violations stem from the photos Lombardo posted on social media during his campaign, where he is seen wearing his police badge and uniform in what some viewed as an attempt to leverage his law enforcement background for political purposes.

The postponement of the ethics hearing means that Lombardo will have to wait longer to learn his fate. Some observers speculate that the outcome of the hearing could be crucial to his political career, including whether he would pursue a second term in office.

Lombardo’s critics have accused him of misusing his position to benefit his political ambitions, while his supporters argue that the accusations against him are politically motivated and without merit.

The case has drawn attention from across the country, with many noting the ongoing debate about the appropriate use of social media by public officials. Some argue that Lombardo’s case is an example of public officials using their positions for personal gain, while others view it as a politically motivated attack.

As the date for the new hearing approaches, many will be closely watching to see how the ethics commission handles the case and what penalties, if any, are imposed on Governor Lombardo. Regardless of the outcome, this case is likely to have far-reaching implications for the future of politics and the appropriate use of social media by public officials.