State GOP Complaint Against Treasurer Marshall Dismissed By Ethics Panel

CARSON CITY – A two-member panel of the state Ethics Commission has decided there is insufficient cause to move forward with a complaint that state Treasurer Kate Marshall used her office to benefit her re-election bid.

The Nevada State Republican Party filed the complaint in April, saying Marshall had inappropriately included her official office telephone number as a point of contact for her campaign. Marshall, a Democrat, is running for a second term.

But Caren Jenkins, executive director of the commission, said a review of the complaint Thursday by two commission members, one Republican and one Democrat, found no cause to move it forward for a full hearing.

The panel determined that Marshall’s state office phone number was included on a contact list for candidates prepared by the secretary of state’s office, not by Marshall herself, she said.

A similar complaint filed against Secretary of State Ross Miller was also rejected by an Ethics Commission panel last month.

Steve Martin, a Las Vegas Republican and former state controller running against Marshall, said he was disappointed the complaint was dismissed out of hand without a hearing. But the decision was not a surprise since a previous panel reached the same decision in Miller’s case, he said.

Marshall was also criticized by the Martin campaign for lending her voice to radio ads promoting a children’s contest involving a college savings program managed by her office, but the issue was not part of the ethics complaint.

Gary Gray, campaign consultant to Marshall said the decision was a vindication for his client and her record of accomplishment, success, and integrity. He criticized Martin, who lost his race for controller in 2006, for making a “bogus” ethics complaint.

Martin did not file the complaint, however. Acting state party Chairwoman Sherry Dilley filed the complaints against Marshall and Miller.