Crooks and Liars

  New Nevada Agriculture Director
Takes Aim at Wild Horses

Part Eleven

News From the Front - April 22, 2008

Media Updates

We received the first two radio spots from Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg (the Rapper and TV star, not the beagle) who managed to find studios and time to record them while touring.

Here are links to the spots. Feel free to download and share them if you like them.

  • Willie Nelson

  • Snoop Dogg

    We had a great time on the Cory Farley show on KBZZ. What a great bunch they are. We even held the world premier of the Snoop Dogg radio spot on "The Buzz."

    Snake Scoop

    Here are some excerpts from the Attorney General's Office regarding Director Lesperance's way of conducting business as an Elko County Commissioner. This particular issue involved a county budget workshop. The Nevada Open Meeting law requires a number of things to ensure that the public has access to review all deliberations made. If the record relies solely on a tape recorder, the recorder shall left on at all times, except as needed to change the tape, or for specific breaks described on the tape.

    The record reveals that the tape recorder shut off 18 times, exclusive of those times the recorder was shut off to change the tape. The record shows that three of those times were for breaks; a lunch and dinner break, each lasting an estimated 45 minutes, and one other break, lasting an undetermined amount of time. This leaves 15 other times the recorder was shut off. Satisfactory explanations were offered by those interviewed for only five of those times: (1) the recorder was intentionally shut off for an undetermined amount of time at the instruction of Commissioner Lesperance when Commissioner Nannini initiated a discussion of the State Water Plan, transcript at 7, (2) the tape recorder was intentionally shut off, for an undetermined amount of time at the instruction of Commissioner Lesperance, when Commissioner Lesperance initiated a discussion of the County Clerk’s Office relative to issues the County Clerk had raised regarding staffing, transcript at 87, (3) the tape recorder was intentionally shut off, for an undetermined amount of time, when Assistant County Comptroller Debbie Armuth made a phone call to a Jeri Underwood regarding the definition of “call back” in the context of Sheriff overtime, transcript at 169, (4) the tape recorder was intentionally shut off, for an undetermined amount of time, when Debbie Armuth made a phone call to Jeri Underwood regarding prisoner meals, transcript at 216, and (5) the tape recorder was intentionally shut off, for an undetermined amount of time, when discussing the District Attorney’s bargaining unit, transcript at 247.

    In addition, it appears the recorder was shut off to reach a decision concerning the creation of a new economic development authority to be under the umbrella of Elko County. In a letter dated April 9, 1999, from Chairman Lesperance to Elko Mayor Mike Franzoia, Chairman Lesperance states:

    Thank you for your support of the plan to place the current North East Nevada Development Authority (NENDA) underneath the umbrella of Elko County in order to increase our efforts in economic development. On April 1, 1999, the Elko County Commission reviewed the proposal during a budget session and agreed to put $110,000 in the new department's budget if all the Elko County cities agree to revise the interlocal agreement that establishes our joint efforts in this arena.

    Since this decision by the Commission is nowhere reflected in the minutes, it is reasonable to infer the decision was reached during one of the times the recorder was shut off. At a July 12, 1999, meeting of the newly-created Elko County Economic Diversification Authority Board of Directors, it was acknowledged that the Commission discussed the economic development fund at the April 1, 1999, meeting. See Minutes of July 12, 1999 meeting of the Elko County Economic Diversification Authority Board of Directors.



    I. The Commission violated the open meeting law on April 1, 1999, by considering and taking action on matters which were not listed on the agenda for the meeting.


    II. The Commission violated the Open Meeting Law on April 1, 1999, because the minutes of the meeting do not reflect all matters discussed or decided at the meeting.


    Although cumbersome at times, compliance with the Open Meeting Law fosters credible democracy, and that is something which must never be compromised. We trust the Commission will seriously adhere to this warning and in the future will consider or take action only on items that are clearly listed on its meeting agendas, and assure that its minutes reflect the substance of all matters discussed or decided.

    A couple of things should be noted for the record.

    The Nevada Open Meeting Law rules are clear, are provided to all bodies subject to the Open Meeting Law, the rules are available on the Attorney General's web site, and annual training is made available to everyone who serves on boards and commissions.

    It is the Attorney General's office policy not to prosecute offending bodies but rather seek correction as it is the Attorney General's opinion that correction is a more appropriate use of agency resources.

    A number of us serve on boards and commissions. We all know the rules. We also know that one of the most fundamental rules is that a recorder is never turned off any time a quorum of any board or commission is present where any discussion takes place - no matter how minor - that could be considered by any reasonable person to be a deliberation between the members. It's not just the law. It's how an honest government conduct's the people's business.

    This is Nevada. Washington style politics have no place here.


  • A number of the wild horse advocates will be in front of the Nevada State Legislature building on Carson St., Wednesday April 23, from 11:30 until 1:30. Anyone wanting to see who these wild horse advocates really are can meet members of the various wild horse groups.

    Immortal words

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    - Mahatma Gandhi

    Continue to Part Twelve - The Environment and History

    Return to Part Ten

    Go back to the Beginning

    View the Wild Horse Release Video

    View the NRCS Range Study

    Read the History of NDoA Screwups on the Range

    Sign the On-Line Petition

    The spirit of Thomas Paine lives

    Return to KBR Wild Horse and Burro News

    Return to KBR World of Wild Horses & Burros

    Go to other Wild Horse Links

    Go To KBR Horse Net