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School trustees cleared in ethics probe alleging misuse of social media


Two Washoe County School District trustees, Beth Smith and Adam Mayberry, have been cleared of wrongdoing by the Nevada Commission on Ethics.

Both were alleged to have used public resources for private election campaigns. The commission found no evidence to support the allegation.

“The investigation confirmed no public funding was provided to support Mayberry’s campaign or that Mayberry improperly used his public position to support his campaign for re-election,” the panel determined. An identical statement, in a separate determination, was written for Smith.

The panel found that “the evidence did not support the determination that a reasonable person would believe the government was supporting [their] private campaign based upon the totality of circumstances…” the commission added. 

Based on that, the panel declined to advance the cases to the full commission.

They did recommend, however, that both candidates for their current seats on the school board should provide disclaimers that say their endorsements are not sanctioned by the government.

“The best ethical practice for public officers or employees who are also candidates for office is to maintain separate official and campaign social media presences to make it crystal clear that communications from any official account are not related to promotion of a candidacy and those on the campaign account are for private campaign purposes,” the commission advised.

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