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State agencies asked to document settlements paid to employees, vendors

By ThisIsReno

By Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau: Gov. Brian Sandoval has asked state agencies to document payments made to employees and vendors after learning at a meeting earlier this month of several undisclosed settlements, including three made by the Department of Transportation.

State Budget Director Andrew Clinger sent out a memo today requesting the information by June 1.

“Agencies will need to document all settlement payments made to employees and vendors; indicate whether or not those settlements have been approved by the Board of Examiners; and identify the funding source used to pay them,” he said in the memo.

Payments made through the Tort Claim Fund administered by the attorney general’s office are not included in the review. Settlements made from July 1, 2006 through May 13 of this year must be provided to Clinger’s office.

Sandoval asked earlier this month for a statewide review of cash settlements with former state employees after state Controller Kim Wallin uncovered three payments to former Department of Transportation workers that were not approved by a public board.

The undisclosed settlements were first reported by the Nevada News Bureau.

One of the payments, to former NDOT employee Chris Sanseverino, totaled $150,000. The others were $22,500 paid to Brenda Hale and $10,000 paid to Dorothy Sewell. Reasons for the payments, authorized in 2010, have not yet been made public, but Sandoval was told the $150,000 payment was a settlement for three separate matters. Sanseverino also received a $25,000 settlement from NDOT in 2008.

The three payments were authorized by top officials with the Department of Transportation, but were never reviewed by the Nevada Transportation Board or the Nevada Board of Examiners.

Wallin has also discovered another payment for $12,000 made to an employee of the state Insurance Division this year.

A further discussion of these payments, and any others disclosed as requested in the memo, is expected to occur at the Board of Examiners meeting set for June 14. The board is made up of Sandoval, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Secretary of State Ross Miller.