In the latest news on the lawsuit brought against Sheriff Joe Lombardo for using his government email for political gain, Metro lawyers admit that emails exist between Lombardo and his campaign handlers but they still refuse to release them despite it being the law (no, the irony isn’t lost on us either). Meanwhile, the taxpayer bill is racking up as Lombardo allows the lawsuit to progress.
Lombardo continues to prove he’ll do whatever it takes to keep voters in the dark and try to cover up his corruption. Read more about Lombardo’s cover up below.
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Police lawyers say political emails not public
July 19, 2022
- Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo sent emails to his political consultants using a department cellphone, but those records are not public and should not be disclosed, attorneys for the Metropolitan Police Department argued.
- Attorneys with the department’s private law firm Marquis Aurbach argued that there is no law that expressly prohibits Lombardo from “de minimus contact with his campaign” using government time or equipment. And since the emails in question don’t concern the provision of public services, they aren’t public records that need to be disclosed under the law, his attorneys argued.
- “By the very nature of the request, and Due Diligence Group’s own acknowledgment, the records it seeks are limited to Sheriff Lombardo’s run for governor,” attorneys Craig R. Anderson and Jackie V. Nichols wrote. “The email communications do not pertain to other employees or officials in (the department) but are strictly limited to Sheriff Lombardo’s campaign” for governor.
- But attorneys for Due Diligence noted that a handful of emails the department did release show that Lombardo wrote to his consultants about a citizen complaint about the fingerprint bureau, as well as the success of a vaccine lottery, matters clearly related to providing public services.
- “It would thoroughly undermine the purpose of the (public records law’s) central goal of transparency to governmental affairs if the government could claim that records are exempt from disclosure because they involved conduct by governmental officials that violate ethical or legal requirements of persons in that position,” attorney Bradley Schrager wrote. “And the emails themselves indicate that is precisely what was happening.”
- He added: “If Sheriff Lombardo failed to keep his public duties and private interests separate when he used government time and resources to confer with his campaign consultants in an attempt to secure an elected, paid position, that in and of itself involves the provision of public services – albeit in an abusive and potentially unlawful manner.”
- But the plaintiffs note that Lombardo and other local officials have a duty to avoid conflicts between their public duties and private interests, and cite a state Ethics Commission opinion that “incumbent public officers are not entitled to the advantage of public resources during a campaign for re-election.”
Read the full story here.