Nevada's (Un)Ethics Commission Whitewashes Reno "Mayor's" Shady Dealings... Again Sam Dehné
On 16 April, 1999, several mouthpieces for the fat cats, posing as a Nevada ethics commission, slapped integrity and honor in the face once again. They ignored the preponderance of evidence and allowed the man posing as Reno's mayor to walk away from his cronyistic manipulation of government.

To sum it up, they relied on the Adolph Hitler theory of pragmatic nest-feathering governance: Public Officers can do anything they want as long as their cronies benefit.
They tried to supplement this ridiculous justification by promoting the preposterous postulation that the community was possibly benefiting by this scheme to let the "mayor" have a kickback contract to run the lucrative airport Foreign Trade Zone. This idea, itself, it dead-wrong (the blight and negative impacts on the community cannot be justified by expanding warehousing and trucking operations), and it does not justify the perverted adulteration of Nevada's NRS Laws.

During the 3 hour kangaroo court, the group of critters posing as an ethics commission never could refute the fact that the "mayor's" actions resulted in brazen nest-feathering in gross violation of NRS 281.481-2:
"A public officer... shall not use his position in government to secure unwarranted privileges, preferences, ... or advantages for himself... or any business entity in which he has a pecuniary interest..."
Here is the "Reader Digest" version of the chronology of transgressions relative to Reno Airport, international trade, nest-feathering and cronyism:
(Note: The "mayor" historically owned Griffin Transport... and some subsidiaries hidden under an umbrella... working for taxpayer-funded government agency EDAWN. Who knows where this nest-feathering scheme all began, but let's start somewhere. One thing is a given: Griffin Transport was going nowhere financially until its owner became a "public officer".)
* July, 97 - Griffin uses his influence as mayor to orchestrate the appointment of friends Luther Mack and Sue Camp to plush Airport Board (neither has any aviation background whatsoever) positions.
* Aug, 97, Caucus - Airport staff tries to sneak ("Who owns that company? A man called Jeff Griffin.") a contract to one of Griffin's umbrella companies, NFTS (Nevada Foreign Trade Services).
* Aug, 97, Meeting - Griffin secures an unwarranted and extremely valuable contract with Reno Airport as direct result of his appointing his friends to the Board of aviation amateurs. The contract calls for one of his companies (NFTS) to apply for (FTZ) Foreign Trade Zone operations at Reno's airports (more than 5,000 acres).
a. Griffin had been trying unsuccessfully get this plush operation for 5 years.
b. Airport violated numerous laws for contracting business... no bid process, no disclosure, etc.
* Aug, 97 - Griffin (the "employee") draws up a Contract on his own letterhead and adds a critical item to allow himself to be exclusive operator of the FTZ... far outside the bounds of the contract the board (wrongfully) approved.
* Also in early 97 - Griffin asks city council for extra money for super-secret taxpayer-funded government agency EDAWN... the organization that employs him and allows him to run the current (ground-based 40 acre FTZ) in Reno.
* Also in 97 - Griffin asks for a large sum of tax dollars to be given to an International Resource Center operation... to increase the city's access to (and from) foreign markets. Griffin is simultaneously about to be given the monopoly (by his cronies at the Airport) for customs operations within the FTZ where the vast majority of this international trade will take place. (This is what "conflict" is all about... yet city attorney said "no conflict". Where were their heads?)
* In meantime, through the years - Griffin encourages his appointees, who serve at his pleasure, to confiscate and condemn land belonging to innocent citizens in Rewana Farms.
* Sept, 97 - Griffin's illegal nest-feathering is challenged before ethics commission.
* May, 98 - Ethics commission decision warns Griffin to not interface with Airport.
* Early 99 - Griffin violates ethics commission directive and travels with new airport director (Krys Bart). Immediately upon return, Bart unilaterally cancels Air Guard move and suddenly announces Cargo Operations for Rewana area. Trucker-Griffin cannot control his glee when the "change" is announced.

Some conclusions:
1. These schemes (and many others) are all intricately intertwined.
1a. These schemes were challenged at virtually every step of the way... with special interest lackeys, such as city attorney, airport board, ethics commission, attorney general, ignoring good government.
2. None of this could have happened without the clandestine machinations of Griffin... ACTING WITH THE POWER OF HIS "MAYOR'S" POSITION.... begging political favors and granting them.
3. Griffin stands to gain financially in amounts he could have only dreamed about before he became a Public Officer... all because he stepped all over the laws of good government.
4. Griffin used his public position to solicit unwarranted privileges, not only for his bosses, but for the organizations that will bring him more business... thus covering both of those bases. And of course his friends at the airport are stealing the land from which to conduct his nest-feathering operations.
5. A virtual clean sweep of violations of NRS 281.481 - take your pick... esp #2...

Griffin was once again caught with his fingers in the cookie jars... up to his shoulders and...
once again the (un)ethics commission let him get away with it.
Will this grotesque excuse for Nevada government ever be unstunk? Not as long as the citizenry continues to remain apathetic. People have wondered for decades how the Jews in Hitler's Germany allowed themselves to be led to the concentration camps...
Click here to read more about schemes like this.
Click back to The Reno Citizen magazine.