Nevada candidate under fire for Raiders stadium business ties
- A candidate for the Clark County (Nevada) Commission said she will file an ethics complaint against incumbent Jim Gibson for not disclosing that his waste management company is performing construction waste and debris removal services at the $2 billion future home of the NFL's Las Vegas Raiders, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
- Candidate Cindy Lake announced her intentions to take action against Gibson during the public comment portion of the commission's Sept. 18 meeting. Lake said that both Gibson and Western Elite, the company he is president of, are benefiting from the commission's decision to help finance the project with a $750 million taxpayer-supported bond deal. She also questioned why Western Elite left Gibson's name off of a company statement announcing the relationship with the stadium, shortly after Gibson had voted for the project's funding.
- Gibson said his company was one of several contractors hired to haul waste from the site. Likewise, Western Elite vice president Scott Seastrand issued a statement saying that the company does not have a contract with the stadium but that it is providing services on an "as-needed basis." Gibson accused Lake of "trying to gain an advantage in the election" and added that Western Elite's relationship with the stadium project does not constitute a conflict of interest because the county neither owns the site nor has any say about which contractors are used during construction.
According to the Clark County Commission's Ethics in Government Policy, Gibson could be found guilty of an ethics violation if he "knew or reasonably should have known" his business relationship with the stadium project was a violation of the policy. The county also requires commissioners to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, given that some commissioners are connected to the county's private business industries.
For contractors who perform work on public projects, there are ethics policies and other regulations with which they should become familiar before signing a contract. In fact, construction companies should think about developing a written ethics policy for use in their own operations, whether their customers are in the public or private sectors.
General contractors and subcontractors alike can look to companies like Clark Construction, Gilbane Building Company and Mortenson Construction to understand industry standards when it comes to promoting a code of behavior. Identified conflicts of interest in Clark's policy include employee ownership of any business concern that does business with or attempts to do business with the company, payments or gifts from vendors that want to do business with the company and contracting with a business that would provide economic benefit to an employee or a family member.
- Las Vegas Review-Journal Commissioner needled for taking out trash at Las Vegas stadium site
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