Andy’s Newspaper column archive

Did Andy Alberti really cost the county taxpayers $50,000?

My goodness. From the excrements being bandied around town by the Progressive rowdies in Pahrump, you would think I caused a bill to the taxpayers so horrendous that I should be hung by my thumbs until stretched so they could be seen hitching a ride from two miles away.

Really! Just what does this group with overactive hormones think caused this expense. Their bleating would make one feel that something is wrong. Here is a tidbit from the PVT.

In June 01, 2010 Commissioner Fely Quetivis was in the news as follows:  “Commissioner Fely Quitevis queried Wayne Carlson, executive director of the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool, about the cost of deductibles paid by Nye County. At the June 1 meeting, commissioners approved paying $370,339 in deductibles on legal claims. Quitevis said the county deductibles paid out for its legal claims increased in the last few years from $29,000 to $50,000 to $94,000 and finally to $370,000.”

Are you not surprised that the County insurance deductible cost went from $29,000 to $370,000? When that article was written there wasn’t even a whimper about what was causing the insurance to skyrocket like that. I guess it’s only of concern when the cost is related to possible ethics violations by County Commissioners and Employees. Maybe it’s just that it was me that filed the complaint. Really? There was lots of talk about the stink and heartburn in the process of hiring Eastley. Rather than beat my gums about it I filed the issue with the government agency charged with evaluating ethical issues, The State Commission on Ethics.

Those ethics issues involved potential undue influence by Commissioners, providing financial benefits to friends while in office, the appearance of impropriety, the county’s legal advisor avoiding answering the question posed about the appointment of Eastley, the 38 out of 39 applicants never even receiving an interview and a few other items.

Matt Ward says I owe him money. Ha! He should concentrate on doing a bit of digging for the truth and asking questions about this issue of ethics. Instead he denigrates anyone who calls attention to government out of control. He should look in to the purported 65 cases languishing in the D A’s office. Maybe that task is best attended to by the Mirror. After all, more people are recognizing the Mirror as thee real newspaper.

There are only approximately 43,000 residents in Nye County and only one, Oz Wichman, husband of Commissioner Wichman, could qualify as a water consultant. He quit his job with Public Works to receive a contract to consult on water with the same department and is now the water consultant for the Nye county Water district under a $40,000 contract.

The paperwork I filed involved over 50 pages of documentation. It was sent in duplicate to the State Commission on Ethics who is charged with reviewing the complaint and through a rigorous process, examine the issues and decide to enter the complaint in to the system. That was in March.

In September the Commission dismissed the case stating Commissioner Eastley accepted the position after she left office. Somehow they didn’t send out the notices until Novemeber 05 and the PVT knew about it before me, on November 04.. Actually I found out about it from them. I wonder who notified them, you see the paperwork was signed November 04 and mailed November 05. Who did the Commission notify, even before the lawyer received the notice.

One can’t fault a newspaper for having inside sources but one can question where the leaky connection is at the Commission.

The dismissal concluded that Eastley accepted the position after her term of office was over. The complaint was about so many other ethical issues leading up to that point and they were apparently not addressed. If you have not read NRS 281A, the Ethics Commission guidelines, the complaint as it was filed and the county policy on ethics which is posted on the human resources portion of the County web site then you have zero understanding of the issues presented to the Commission.

At this point I have the feeling the Commission is poorly coordinated. I called them in mid October and was told the delay in moving forward was due to the respondents requesting more time. In reality a decision was already made September 18. It supposedly fell through the cracks causing the confusion. How absurd. It raises questions about the management of the entire Commission.

There is a link to the Ethics Commission on my web site. Their rules and guide lines are there. There is not enough room in this column for all that is involved, but as time permits I will post the filing on my site. Meanwhile I suggest that all elected officials use their influence to apply for a high paying job plus benefits with the County while they are in office. It is fine as long as you accept the job immediately after you leave office.

Next week I plan to look in to the $50,000 insurance deductible, how the deductible is approved for payment, who is covered by the Pool/Pact insurance and other questions relating to the high cost of the deductibles as mentioned above.

OK, back to the question. Am I responsible for the $50,000 supposedly paid by Nye county to respond to my ethics complaint. The issue was raised because of actions by Commissioners and employees acting in what appeared to be unethical ways. If they did not have the appearance of impropriety no complaint would have been filed. They are the responsible parties by their own actions.

Andrew Alberti Jr