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Two higher ed regents face admonishment by state ethics commission

By Bob Conrad

Nevada System of Higher Education Regents Kathy McAdoo and Patrick Carter are both facing admonishment by a panel of the state’s ethics commission. 

The alleged violations were of Nevada ethics laws covering voting on matters in which the regents may have had a financial or personal interest.

“The Review Panel unanimously finds and concludes that the facts establish credible evidence to support a determination that just and sufficient cause exists for the Commission to render an opinion in the matter regarding the alleged violations of NRS 281A.420(1) and (3),” the ethics commission noted.

“The Review Panel reasonably believes that [the regent’s] conduct may be appropriately addressed through corrective action under the terms and conditions of a deferral agreement instead of referring these allegations to the Commission for further proceedings at this time.”

The commission received complaints against each regent in June. Instead of going to a full commission for an opinion about violations, both instead can agree to be admonished. NSHE will also have to tighten up its ethics rules.

In lieu of a full commission proceeding, the regents have to draft a letter to other regents and the interim chancellor.

That letter has to contain: “Revisions to strengthen NSHE Board of Regents’ ethics policy; enforcement mechanisms for ethics policy violations that are not covered by NRS 281A; [and] clarify for Regents the rules related to voting on matters where they are subject to investigation or discipline.”

The panel found two provisions of state law were violated to warrant the admonishment but two other alleged violations could not be substantiated. The latter two were dismissed.

Regents’ new chief of staff gets $110,000 in settlement after three months

The violations came about the same time the Board of Regents was set to fire an attorney who was recently hired as the board’s chief of staff and legal counsel. 

The Nevada Independent yesterday reported Robert Kilroy received a $110,000 settlement after only three months on the job. 

A special meeting scheduled for today was canceled after the settlement was approved.

The meeting was called after three regents requested his termination be placed on the meeting agenda.

“Regents have lost confidence in Mr. Kilroy’s ability to provide the Board with competent legal advice and perform the duties of his position,” the meeting agenda notes.

Kilroy was hired after a previous chief of staff was lambasted during a regents meeting and subsequently chastised online after he accused a regent of engaging in “child speak.”

Former NSHE Chancellor Melody Rose earlier this year also severed her short tenure at the higher ed. system. She received a $610,000 severance

NSHE representatives did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. This story may be updated.

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