Ethics Complaint Against Boggs McDonald Moves Forward - 8 News NOW

George Knapp, Investigative Reporter

Ethics Complaint Against Boggs McDonald Moves Forward

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The Nevada Ethics Commission has decided to move forward with a complaint filed against Clark County Commissioner Lynette Boggs McDonald alleging that she tried to use her political influence to save her husband's government job.

The allegations were first made public last year in reports by the Eyewitness News I-Team. The alleged ethical violations occurred when Lynette Boggs McDonald was still a Las Vegas councilwoman, prior to her election to the county commission.

As the I-Team reported one year ago this month, the councilwoman was accused by two state assemblymen of trying to pressure the state treasurer so that her husband could hang onto his state job. Boggs McDonald denied it at the time, but the ethics commission said Wednesday there's enough evidence to justify a full hearing.

"To go around when no one is looking and watching and ask me to do these things for her is unethical itself, " said former State Assemblyman Wendell Williams. He pulled no punches last September when he told the I-Team that he had been pressured by then-city councilwoman Lynette Boggs McDonald to use his influence at the legislature to try and preserve the job of her husband Steve, who previously worked for the treasurer's office.

Williams was a city employee as well as a state legislator. He claimed that Boggs McDonald often contacted him for legislative favors, but that she was relentless in asking that he put pressure on the treasurer so that Steve McDonald would not be fired.

State Assemblyman Morse Arberry, who also worked for the city, confirmed that he too had been contacted by the councilwoman to intervene on behalf of Steve McDonald. Both Arberry and Williams felt the request was out of line, but they went along with it.

Wendell Williams said, "If I'm working as an employee of the City of Las Vegas and my boss, in essence, Lynette Boggs McDonald is requesting that I ask these questions to kill this bill to protect her husband, what do I do?

When Lynette Boggs McDonald spoke to the I-Team last fall, she vehemently denied asking for any favors from the two assemblymen. She acknowledged passing along a few messages from her husband to Williams because the two were friends. "Often I was like Ma Bell, transferring messages back and forth but I don't know what conversations they had between them," she stated.

Williams says he was not friends with Steve McDonald. The I-Team obtained an email sent from the councilwoman's senior assistant to Williams, urging him to contact Steve McDonald immediately. Williams says McDonald supplied him with tough questions to ask of the state treasurer, and records from subsequent hearings show Williams did grill the treasurer about a bill that would eliminate McDonalds job.

Now, those transcripts are in the hands of the ethics commission, which cited the Channel 8 news reports as part of the public record that justified moving forward with the ethics complaint against Boggs McDonald.

The commission staff also obtained cell phone records from City Hall, interviewed State Treasurer Brian Krolicki and State Assemblyman Arberry, but has not officially spoken with Wendell Williams. Still, the preliminary report cites quote "a desperation on the part of Boggs McDonald" to preserve her husbands job.

In a statement to the ethics commission, Clark County Commissioner Boggs McDonald totally denied the allegations, and says she never asked for favors from Williams or Arberry. She also points out that neither of them were her direct subordinates at the City of Las Vegas.

The commission staff believes there is sufficient evidence to move forward with the complaint and hold a full hearing in mid December.

Contact I-Team Investigative Reporter George Knapp

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