(Jim Gibbons welcoming Vice President Cheney to Elko, Nevada)
Former House of Representatives Member and incumbent Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons is now under investigation for receiving illegal gifts from an executive at a defense contractor, eTreppid Technologies from Reno.
This is a snippet from a New York Times report on this new corruption probe:
The Justice Department declined formal comment, but some officials who had been briefed on the investigation said that a preliminary corruption inquiry had been opened. They cautioned that no charges had been filed, and said that such investigations took time and often concluded without any prosecution. The federal investigation was first reported, on Thursday, by The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal report said the newspaper had obtained previously unreported e-mail messages that had surfaced in a civil lawsuit in Reno. The paper cited one message in which Mr. Trepp appeared to discuss a payment to Mr. Gibbons.
“Please don’t forget to bring the money you promised Jim and Dawn,” Mr. Trepp’s wife, Jale, wrote in the e-mail message to her husband on March 22, 2005, a few days before the Trepps left for a Caribbean cruise with Mr. Gibbons and his wife, Dawn, a former Nevada assemblywoman.
Minutes later, Mr. Trepp replied, according to The Journal: “Don’t you ever send this kind of message to me! Erase this message from your computer right now!”
Mr. Gibbons, who was in Congress at the time, did not disclose the trip, which included travel aboard Mr. Trepp’s leased private jet.
He said later that the trip had not violated ethics rules, but in November, he asked the House ethics committee for an opinion on whether he should have reported it. He left the House before any action was taken.
The lawyers and investigators will be wrestling over this one for a while.
But in the mean time, it would be good for Nevada’s journalists — and some of them are excellent — to get Governor Gibbons on the record on what exactly he thinks would cross the line of ethics rules violations in the House if not accepting a free cruise and trips on private planes while rigging defense contracts.
We’d really like to know. What line would have to be crossed for him to be outraged?
— Steve Clemons