Words Mean Stuff Episode 784: Inadvertent vs. Premeditated
At the June 18th Storey County Commission meeting, Agenda Item 35 read: Consideration and possible approval of refund of excess funds paid for community development permits in the amount of $71,266.97.
In an article outlining documents we received from a county whistleblower, The Teller reported how these “excess funds” came to be. Enshrined/enshamed former Community Development Director Gary Hames concocted a scheme to overcharge permitted projects without the consent of the County Commissioners.
Based on the dialog between Lance Gilman and Jay Carmona, the opacity with which the county operates does not simply apply to us folks in the public. Amazingly, Carmona and Gilman appeared to have no idea how these charges came to be. Commissioner Gilman wanted to have the courtroom cleared so they could have a closed session to find out what everyone already knows. Fortunately, NRS is pretty particular about what can be kept from the public. This issue does not pass opacity muster.
On the other hand, Commissioner McBride seemed to know how these “excess funds” came about; he referred to them as “inadvertent” charges. This is the same Marshall McBride who tried to bamboozle us into thinking that Gary Hames did such an exemplary job that the position of Community Development Director became unnecessary and was eliminated. Anyone paying attention (Gilman and Carmona excluded) knows how these “excess funds” came about. Premeditated, not inadvertent.
Public Comment was pretty clear on this. I asked about accountability and was told there would be none. Clay Mitchell asked about detrimental reliance. We rely on the government to play by the rules and do the right thing.
You can hear the entire audio of this action item and read the detail of Gary Hames’ overcharging scheme at the end of this article.
Who Knew What When?
Because Gary Hames can’t operate Microsoft Excel, Jessie Fain created the illegal documents that created the structure for the new calculations of Community Development charges. Thanks to the Justice Court/Divide Fitness exercise in bad optics, many of us know by now that Jessie Fain sits directly outside Pat Whitten’s office. We all know the relationship Pat Whitten and Gary Hames have, so anyone paying attention can conclude that Jessie Fain and Gary Hames concocting a way to swindle unsuspecting permit pullers had to be happening under the nose of Pat Whitten.
Pat has a history of keeping things from the Commissioners. None of the Commissioners knew of the payola Whitten handed out to Gary Hames, Dean Haymore, and Mike Nevin. Lord knows what other kind of skulduggery has gone on behind his closed door. So the question before us now is: Why are Carmona and Gilman in the dark? Surely they can read The Teller to determine why Hames’ contract was terminated.
The fact that they are claiming not to know reveals just how deep the dysfunction in Storey County runs. If the District Attorney’s office is keeping the information from the Commissioners then the Commissioners are feeling what The Teller has known for some time; there is a stonewall around damaging information that “they” don’t want made public.
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We Deserve Better
It would be refreshing to have some straight talk from our Commissioners on this one. They fired Gary Hames. They terminated his contract. He premeditatively overcharged permit pullers. Commissioner McBride and Keith Loomis spoon feed us blatant malarkey about what a splendid job he did. The same dynamic duo now try to foist this flimflammery upon us to convince us this was an innocent mistake. These charges were not “excess” and they weren’t “inadvertant”.
Please. Just. Stop.
Along with 827 Democratic candidates, President Trump announced he is running for President in 2020. On the same ticket will be at least four candidates contending for two separate Storey County Commissioner seats. Make sure you remember this nonsense when you are casting your vote in November.
¡Hasta la Victoria, Siempre!
Read the trail of overcharging tears here (click on the arrows to see more):inadvertent overcharge