Las Vegas Sun

September 16, 2014

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Secretary of State Miller off the hook in ethics case

Ross Miller

Ross Miller

Census ad

The Nevada Commission on Ethics has dismissed complaints against Secretary of State Ross Miller filed last month by the Nevada Republican Party.

A two-member preliminary review panel found insufficient evidence to move forward with a full ethics hearing, according to Caren Jenkins, executive director of the Ethics Commission.

The state GOP had accused Miller, a Democrat, of violating ethics laws by listing his office phone number in an official re-election filing and for appearing briefly in an ad promoting participation in the U.S. Census.

“As I said initially, the complaint was silly and bogus to begin with,” Miller said. “I knew it would be thrown out. This is the campaign season.”

Jenkins said the committee found that Miller did not violate the ethics law because he listed his campaign number on the media contact form filed with the state, even though it was not on his “declaration of candidacy” form.

She said Miller can appear in television ads because provisions in the law allow him to perform duties of his office. Miller is chairman of the committee overseeing the census effort in Nevada.

Commission Chairman George Keele, a Minden attorney, said commissioners were dismissive of the evidence presented by the Nevada GOP against Miller.

“I think that’s about as thin evidence as we have ever had to support an allegation in the time that I have sat on this commission,” Keele said.

The Nevada GOP filed complaints against Miller and fellow Democrat Kate Marshall, who listed her state treasurer’s office phone number on her declaration of candidacy. The Marshall case is still pending.

Gov. Jim Gibbons, it was later revealed, also listed his state office number on his declaration of candidacy. No ethics complaint has been filed against Gibbons.

Jenkins said she could not comment on Marshall’s case.

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