#GOP legislators clam-up over #LVCVA spending scandal

So much for exposing fraud and defending taxpayers.

Assembly Republicans received instructions Wednesday not to talk to the Las Vegas Review-Journal about its investigation of lavish spending by the publicly funded Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Ross Hemminger, a spokesman for Assembly Minority Leader Paul Anderson, R-Las Vegas, sent an email to the Republicans on Monday afternoon, telling them “nothing good comes from engaging on this.”

“The investigative reporters from that story are calling and emailing members for reaction,” Hemminger explained in the message obtained by the Review-Journal. “Please do not engage on this issue — this is not in our wheelhouse. We have no authority over this, and it’s not part of our caucus priorities.”

Anderson backed up Hemminger, saying the matter is a “local issue” and the Legislature doesn’t have the authority to oversee the agency.

The investigation, published on Sunday, reported that the convention authority over the past three years spent millions of taxpayer dollars on high-end entertainment, gifts for employees and first-class trips for its board members.

The questionable purchases at times had little or no business purpose and routinely violated the authority’s own vague expense policies, the investigation found.

Both Gov. Brian Sandoval and Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison also issued statements Wednesday saying they have no power over the convention authority’s budget.

Nevada Controller Ron Knecht called on Sandoval and the Legislature to immediately review the questionable spending.

“This behavior is offensive and insulting to every hard-working taxpayer in Nevada,” he said in a written statement.

He is correct.

Read the whole story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal

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