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‘Election integrity’ complaint filed against Reno council member Bonnie Weber

By Bob Conrad

Reno City Council member Bonnie Weber is facing a new ethics complaint – this time for an alleged violation of Nevada election laws over campaign finance, ethics and campaign rules.

Her challenger, Meghan Ebert, filed the complaint this week. She is accusing Weber of violations because she announced free attendance for North Valleys residents to the Reno Air Races. 

Bonnie Weber

A flier posted online announced, “Councilwoman Bonnie Weber is pleased to announce a free day for Reno Ward 4 residents at the Stihl National Championship Air Races!” The free entry day was also promoted by the City of Reno.

Ebert called the promotion dishonest and misleading.

“Council Woman Weber in her capacity as a sitting council member had nothing to do with free admission for some residents of Ward 4,” Ebert wrote in the complaint filed this week with the Nevada Secretary of State. “This event has been free for these residents since 2018. These are blatantly false claims in this flier… It excludes Ward 4 residents who live in zip code 89508.”

People online also criticized the flier. 

“This should be reported as false advertising and election fraud. Bonnie Weber has nothing to do with our Ward 4 local residents having yearly free admission for opening days,” one commenter said in response to the flier posted by Bonanza Casino.

Ebert further said that since the flier was posted and shared on social media, it “bypasses rules regarding campaign Contribution and Expense reporting as it is free advertising with no cost to print or distribute…”

Weber did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. This is the second similar complaint filed against her. 

She was cleared last year of an alleged ethics violation

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.”

Weber called the complaint “a frustrating 18-month process.”

“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,” she said in a press release. 

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