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Ethics commission finds Reno fire chief violated state ethics law


Reno Fire Chief David Cochran agreed last month that, by appearing in a political commercial for U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in 2022, he violated Nevada’s ethics laws.

“The Commission concludes that the violation is determined to be willful, but due to mitigating factors, no civil penalty will be imposed,” his agreement with the commission states.

Those factors include Cochran’s lack of a prior ethics violation and his attempting to get around ethics rules by not appearing in his official uniform. 

According to the commission, he cooperated with the investigation, he did not act in bad faith and he did he get any compensation for appearing in the democratic senator’s advertisement.

The commission formally admonished him, however. 

Cochran attempted to avoid ethics issues by wearing an off-color, unofficial uniform, without official Reno Fire Department badges or pins, according to the commission. 

“Cochran did not expressly endorse Cortez Masto for Senate; however, given the timing, placement, and context of the Video, a viewer could infer that Cochran endorsed Cortez Masto for Senate, and the physical accoutrements of his office, i.e., the uniform, bolstered his private enforcement in violation of [state law],” the commission noted.

He has to complete an ethics training as part of the agreement.

City officials did not respond to a request for comment from This Is Reno.

Bob Conrad
Bob Conradhttp://thisisreno.com
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. He is also a part time instructor at UNR and sits on the boards of the Nevada Press Association and Nevada Open Government Coalition.