Published Wednesday, March 5, 2008 | 4:28 p.m.
Updated Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008 | 2:14 p.m.
State Sen. Warren Hardy is facing state ethics violations stemming from his role as president of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors, a dues-supported organization dedicated to furthering the cause of non-union shops in the construction industry.
Richard B. Miller, a retired schoolteacher and one of Hardy's constituents, filed a complaint with the Nevada Commission on Ethics today, alleging that the state Senator has "proposed, amended, voted upon, and otherwise advocated the passage or failure" of legislation directly affecting the construction contractors he represents. It also alleges that he did not adequately disclose his position as ABC president when such matters came before the Senate.
Elected to the state Senate in 2002, Hardy is chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee and vice chairman of the Commerce and Labor Committee.
For his part, Hardy dismissed the complaint as a political attack by labor unions and denied violating state ethics laws. The law firm representing Miller — McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry — represents unions, including the powerful Culinary Union, and has offices located in the Culinary's Commerce Street headquarters. Paul L. More, the attorney representing Miller in the ethics case, said neither the Culinary nor any other union is party to the complaint.
Said Hardy of the alleged conflict because of his role with the building trade group: "I did not disclose in every situation and I am not required by law to disclose in every situation." He said he generally discloses his
position as ABC president each session the first time a construction issue arises in committee and files a general disclosure letter with the Legislative Counsel Bureau.
"If what I have done is an ethics violation then every member of the Legislature is guilty," Hardy said. "I think we need to preserve a citizen legislature. If we start abstaining out of an abundance of caution there
won't be any bills."