Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo was the subject of two ethics complaints earlier this year, with a Nevada Commission on Ethics review panel determining that the issues contained therein could be adequately addressed through a stipulation agreement.
The stipulated agreement, which resolves the ethics complaints, was accepted by the ethics commission during a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
The ethics complaints were filed in April of this year by members of town of Pahrump staff in relation to conversations Blundo conducted with members of the Pahrump Tourism Advisory Committee in his capacity as commission liaison to that committee.
According to the stipulated agreement, Blundo, who has been on the Nye County Commission since January and is now seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives, had “…expressed his concern that PTAC (Pahrump Tourism Advisory Committee) only focused on large businesses and that it would be expedient for PTAC to consider expanding its focus to feature all businesses in Pahrump, including, but not limited to, local restaurants, including his own.”
The agreement goes on to outline the fact that Blundo was then removed from his position as liaison to the tourism committee, which then took action to address Blundo’s concerns by implementing a promotion to focus on local restaurants, including Blundo’s own, Carmelo’s Bistro.
“Blundo now understands that it is improper for him to use government time or his position as a county commissioner to make statements or request services/favors in a public capacity that may affect his personal interests,” the agreement reads.
It also details that Blundo’s statements to the tourism committee should not be deemed as a willful violation of the law, noting that Blundo did not benefit financially from his conduct, that he had been fully cooperative with the ethics commission’s investigation and that his actions did not constitute a significant violation.
Additionally, the agreement stated that the allegation that Blundo had attempted to secure a seat on the tourism committee for his fiance lacked sufficient evidence and was therefore dismissed.
“Today, the ethics commission simply voted to accept my settlement agreement. My actions were recognized in writing as unwillful and the seriousness was minimal,” Blundo stated when reached for comment. “I agree, and as a result, I will continue to fight for my constituents.
“This attempt by entrenched functionaries will not deter what I know to be my role as a commissioner,” Blundo continued. “Small business is the driving force for better jobs in our community and I will continue to ask those whose job it is to promote small businesses, to do their job and promote all of the small businesses in Nye County regardless of the industry in which they operate. Some are going to try to stop me from standing up and being the voice of small business. But I’m prepared to make my case for government that serves the taxpayer and ensures each small business gets the biggest bang for their buck.”
The stipulated agreement was accepted as proposed, Nevada Commission on Ethics Executive Director Yvonne Nevarez-Goodson told the Pahrump Valley Times, stating, “The document will be executed by the parties and made available on our website in final form within a few days to a week.”
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at firstname.lastname@example.org