Nevada Fares Poorly In New Corruption, Transparency Ranking By National Group

CARSON CITY – Nevada received a D- and ranked 42nd among states for anti-corruption and government transparency efforts, according to a new report from State Integrity Investigation.

Nevada rated poorly in a number of areas, including grades of F for state pension fund management, lobbying disclosure and internal auditing, grades of D for public access to information and legislative accountability and a C- for executive accountability.

Among the Nevada findings in the months-long probe, a collaboration of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International, are:

- Lobbyists can operate year round, but their networking and hospitality are tracked for a narrow window of time – just right before, during and right after legislative sessions.

- Nevada Legislature has exempted itself from open-meeting laws.

The Nevada report by Joan Whitely says: “The state’s legislative framework factors heavily in that poor grade. Since part-time lawmakers must earn a living through other jobs, all face potential conflicts when proposed laws touch their sources of income.

“Other gaps in ethics protection – from flimsy lobbying reporting requirements to a huge loophole in the state’s open meeting law to unlimited gifts allowed for public officials – further erode accountability.”

The national report says that no states earned an A grade in the months-long probe. Only five states earned  a B grade: New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, California, and Nebraska. Nineteen states got C’s and 18 received D’s. Eight states earned F’s: Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Georgia.