How Special Interests Cost Storey County
Part One – Reputation
During my lobbying with legislators in the 2019 Nevada Legislative session, I had the opportunity to meet with legislators. During a meeting with the leadership in the Assembly, I mentioned I was a journalist in Storey County.
“A journalist in Storey County? You must be busy. All you need to do is scratch the surface and the $#^& explodes all over you.” I hear this a lot in my dealings with people outside The Richest Place On Earth.
Being on the wrong side of Storey County ordinances can get you in hot water. I know a Virginia City resident who was convicted of a misdemeanor for violating the County Ordinance for watering horses. He received a criminal conviction for filling a water container that horses drank from.
Here in Storey County Rules Apply to the Little People.
As many of you may know, Lance Gilman sued me for defamation for a piece I wrote in October of 2017. The article was written based on my investigation that Lance Gilman does not actually live at the Mustang Ranch. I won that suit in District court. Lance is appealing to the Supreme Court of Nevada.
In October of 2017 I filed a complaint with the Storey County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) stating that Lance Gilman appeared to be guilty of perjury because he either lives at the brothel (and was in violation of Storey County’s Agricultural and Industrial Zoning Ordinances) or he actually lived in his home in Washoe Valley and appeared to be guilty of perjury. I got this information from multiple sources and had to verify it. The SCSO’s investigation concluded that Lance Gilman didn’t live at the Mustang Ranch recommended Langer prosecute Thompson and Gilman.
Also in late 2017 I filed a complaint with the SCSO when I learned from a public record request that Kris Thompson didn’t possess a Brothel work card as required by Storey County Ordinance. Unless you are a customer, you must have a work card.
Conflicted Attorney Allows Scofflaws To Skate
District Attorney Anne Langer was conflicted when she received the complaints from the SCSO and in 2018 she sent the matter to the Nevada Division of Investigation. After nearly a year of investigation in 2019, they concluded that Lance Gilman lives in Washoe Valley and recommended prosecution.
Anne Langer continued to experience conflict and sent the matter to Lyon and Washoe County for prosecution. This was a clever ploy, because outside counties were using Nevada Revised Statute to try to prosecute Gilman on rather than simply enforcing Storey County’s Ordinance. Lyon and Washoe correctly concluded that Gilman and Thompson could not be convicted of violating NRS. But they appeared to both guilty of violating Storey County Zoning and Brothel Ordinances.
Both Lyon and Washoe County have separate departments inside the DA’s Office to handle “conflicts” like this. Langer loves to hire contract lawyers to deal with matters beneath her, but chose to farm this out rather than handling it inside the office.
All Animals Are Created Equal
George Orwell’s Animal Farm had a great line that described the corrupt evil that was the communists way of doing business; “All Animals Are Created Equal. Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.” When Storey County selectively enforces the rules, we all lose. When they change the rules so prohibited behavior is no longer prohibited, it reeks of tyranny.
Changing the rules is exactly what Storey County tried to do. After three years, Storey County finally dealt with the problem in a very Storey County way.
If the Rules Don’t Fit, Change Them.
Rather than simply rezoning the Mustang Ranch from Industrial and Agricultural zoning to Commercial, they decided the way to fix the problem was to create a whole new zoning designation specifically for the Mustang Ranch and Lance Gilman.
And what a zoning designation it is. Reading the proposed Brothel zoning description would allow for a whole universe of land uses outside the brothel venue. Heck, from the looks of it Glance Thrillman’s Petting Zoo would be an allowable use.
The one thing the new zoning designation appears to allow is unlimited residential use, allowing everyone at the brothel to claim it as their residence and use it as a place to vote from.
This brings back nostalgic memories of when Joe Conforte used to have his sex workers vote as a block to make sure the elections went his way. It is the exact last thing we need in Storey County today.
I have included a copy of the proposed zoning ordinance at the end of this article. Give it a read and see if you think doing what Storey County is proposing is better than simply rezoning the Mustang Ranch commercial and calling it good.
Residents One. Special Interests Zero.
This proposed zoning designation benefits one person at the expense of the rest of us. It also works to build a moat around the Mustang Ranch protecting them from other brothels opening in the future.
Discussion of the zoning designation was on the Planning Commission’s Agenda on Thursday, October 1st. The item was pulled after I filed a letter of protest. You can read that letter at the end of this article.
This is the kind of stuff that needs to change in Storey County and is why I am running for office. It is time that the residents take control of the County and focus on what is good for residents first. The current slate of commissioners have danced to the tune of “ whats good for TRI ( and Lance) is good for us” for too long…
I am committed to the residents and strong enough to stand for you, work for you, negotiate for you and stand by my decisions.
You and I need our county to work for us. I can’t work for you without your vote.