Reno City Council member Bonnie Weber was determined today by the Nevada State Ethics Commission to have not violated ethics laws.
The ruling came after a complaint was filed against her to the commission alleging “private meetings Weber held with North Valleys stakeholders, including property developers and builders, violated the Ethics Law—at least in part because the meetings included privately paid-for lunches and were attended by certain City staff.”
While the commission determined there was enough evidence to proceed with an ethics investigation, today’s decision puts Weber in the clear if certain changes are made at the city.
“Today’s action by the Nevada Commission on Ethics closes a frustrating 18-month process with an agreement that my actions related to community stakeholder meetings did not violate any state laws or city policies,” Weber said in a press release. “Even though the anonymous person who filed the complaint did so in bad faith, I respect the Ethics Commission’s review process as important to providing public trust in government officials.”
Commissioners said, however, city ethics policies do “not adequately address situations where City staff attend meetings that are hosted or organized by elected officials. City staff chose to participate in Weber’s events to educate and engage the development community in North Valleys, elicit input and feedback on City policies and procedures, exchange information, and discuss mutual problems and solutions.”
The policy deficiency means the Reno City Attorney’s Office, city manager and the commission’s director, or designee, have to update the unclear policies.
City officials and employees impacted by the changes are encouraged to receive training on the updated policy, the commission noted.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.