Las Vegas Sun

November 22, 2014

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Ethics hearing is delayed for 2 CCSD officials

Carolyn Edwards

Carolyn Edwards

Joyce Haldeman

Joyce Haldeman

The Nevada Ethics Commission has postponed its hearing on two Clark County School District officials accused of violating the state's ethics law.

Last month, Michael Silbergleid, president of public relations company The SilverKnight Group, filed a complaint against Clark County School Board President Carolyn Edwards and Associate Superintendent Joyce Haldeman.

The two school officials are accused of using district resources to campaign for a ballot initiative last year that would have raised property taxes to help pay for school renovations, maintenance and construction. That tax initiative — known as Question 2 — was overwhelmingly rejected by voters last November.

Edwards is accused of using her work email, maintained by the School District, to ask a district employee to send information about the ballot question to parents and supporters in the district.

Haldeman is accused of asking the district's purchasing division to handle and inventory campaign literature. Employees drove district vehicles and used the district's warehouse to store the materials in October.

The School Improvement Committee, a political action committee formed to support the ballot question, repaid $648 to the School District for personnel costs, gasoline and other expenses.

However, a two-member ethics investigatory panel in May found "sufficient credible evidence" to bring the matter before the full, six-member commission.

A closed-door hearing on the matter was scheduled for Wednesday, July 17. However, that hearing has been postponed until the commission's August or September meeting to allow district officials — who are interested in filing a motion — more time to do so.

The facts surrounding the case are not in dispute, according to the commission's executive director Caren Cafferata-Jenkins.

The issue is whether Edwards and Haldeman knowingly and willfully used taxpayer resources for political purposes or personal gain, which is illegal under the state's ethics law.

If the two School District officials are found in violation of state law, they could be fined up to $5,000 each and/or be removed from their respective positions.

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