Las Vegas Sun

July 26, 2014

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Judge seals governor’s divorce records

CARSON CITY ­ A district judge has sealed most records in the divorce sought by Gov. Jim Gibbons from his wife Dawn and ordered the couple not to sell or dispose of their property.

District Judge Bill Maddox sealed the records at the request of the governor, who filed suit Friday to end their 1986 marriage on grounds of incompatibility.

The judge's order says the complaint filed by the governor, the answer to be submitted by Dawn and the court's findings would remain open.

But he said "all other papers, records, proceedings and evidence, including exhibits and transcript of the testimony" must be sealed and opened only to the parties and their attorneys.

The governor's complaint for divorce, filed by attorney Gary Silverman, asks that "spousal support ... community and separate property and debts be awarded pursuant to law."

The judge ruled that both Gibbonses may not cash, borrow against, cancel, transfer, dispose of or change the beneficiaries of any insurance coverage. Similar restrictions apply to the couple's retirement benefits and pension plans.

According to Gibbons' financial disclosure statement filed in January with the Secretary of State's Office, the governor receives his $141,000-a-year salary and has income from Delta Airlines and the U.S. Congress. He was a pilot for Delta and served 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In addition to his private home in Reno, Gibbons lists land in Elko County that is used for agriculture.

Maddox said his order complies with a Nevada Supreme Court ruling last week that held entire case files cannot be sealed.

In divorce cases, the court said pleadings, court findings, orders that resolve motions and judgments must remain open to the public. But it said other records could be closed to the public at one of the parties' request.

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