Stan Olsen during meeting of Nevada Ethics Commission in August. (Ethics Commission video screengrab)
When Gov. Joe Lombardo named two law enforcement-friendly members to the Nevada Ethics Commission days before a July hearing on his use of his sheriff’s badge and uniform during his 2022 campaign for governor, Lombardo declined to comment on the optics of doing so.
The Ethics Commission voted 4-2 that Lombardo willfully violated the law by using government property in his campaign materials.
Predictably, Lombardo’s two cop-friendly picks – former cop Stan Olsen and John Moran III, grandson of former Clark County Sheriff John Moran, cast the dissenting votes.
In August, when the Commission voted to approve the final order against Lombardo, including a $20,000 fine, Moran was a no-show and Olsen once more voted against sanctioning Lombardo.
Moments later, Olsen joined his colleagues in voting to sanction Washoe County School District trustee Joseph Rodriguez, a lieutenant with the State Fire Marshal, for wearing his uniform and badge in campaign photos – the same offense Olsen voted to let slide in Lombardo’s case.
“The Commission has long held that a campaign endorsement showing badge and uniform (i.e., the accouterments of office) would result in an advantage to the person being endorsed.” says the final order in Rodriguez’ case.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Olsen said he was unaware he cast a vote in Rodriguez’ case, and was unable to explain the apparent double standard.
“The guy doesn’t ring a bell,” he said.
In a video of the meeting, asked whether he has any comments or questions before the vote on Rodriguez, Olsen responds “No comments. No questions.”
Olsen declined to elaborate. “I just don’t talk to reporters on the phone, or really, even in person.”
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