Nevada Public Officers and Employees

Sec. § 281A.790
Additional types of remedies and penalties; duties of Commission upon finding willful violation; circumstances in which violation not deemed willful; effect of chapter upon criminal law; judicial review of certain actions of Commission; burden of proof.


1.

In addition to any other penalties provided by law and in accordance with the provisions of NRS 281A.775, the Commission may impose on a public officer or employee or former public officer or employee civil penalties:

(a)

Not to exceed $5,000 for a first willful violation of this chapter;

(b)

Not to exceed $10,000 for a separate act or event that constitutes a second willful violation of this chapter; and

(c)

Not to exceed $25,000 for a separate act or event that constitutes a third willful violation of this chapter.

2.

In addition to any other penalties provided by law, if any person prevents, interferes with or attempts to prevent or interfere with any investigation or proceedings pursuant to this chapter or the discovery of a violation of this chapter, the Commission may, upon its own motion or upon the motion of the current or former public officer or employee who is the subject of the investigation or proceedings:

(a)

Impose on the person committing such an act a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000; and

(b)

If appropriate under the facts and circumstances, assess against the person committing such an act an amount equal to the amount of attorney’s fees and costs actually and reasonably incurred by the current or former public officer or employee as a result of the act.

3.

If the Commission finds that a violation of a provision of this chapter by a public officer or employee or former public officer or employee has resulted in the realization of a financial benefit by the current or former public officer or employee or another person, the Commission may, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, require the current or former public officer or employee to pay a civil penalty of not more than twice the amount so realized.

4.

In addition to any other penalties provided by law, if a proceeding results in an opinion that:

(a)

One or more willful violations of this chapter have been committed by a State Legislator removable from office only through expulsion by the State Legislator’s own House pursuant to Section 6 of Article 4 of the Nevada Constitution, the Commission shall:

(1)

If the State Legislator is a member of the Senate, submit the opinion to the Majority Leader of the Senate or, if the Majority Leader of the Senate is the subject of the opinion or the person who requested the opinion, to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate; or

(2)

If the State Legislator is a member of the Assembly, submit the opinion to the Speaker of the Assembly or, if the Speaker of the Assembly is the subject of the opinion or the person who requested the opinion, to the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly.

(b)

One or more willful violations of this chapter have been committed by a state officer removable from office only through impeachment pursuant to Article 7 of the Nevada Constitution, the Commission shall submit the opinion to the Speaker of the Assembly and the Majority Leader of the Senate or, if the Speaker of the Assembly or the Majority Leader of the Senate is the person who requested the opinion, to the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly or the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, as appropriate.

(c)

One or more willful violations of this chapter have been committed by a public officer other than a public officer described in paragraphs (a) and (b), the willful violations shall be deemed to be malfeasance in office for the purposes of NRS 283.440 and the Commission:

(1)

May file a complaint in the appropriate court for removal of the public officer pursuant to NRS 283.440 when the public officer is found in the opinion to have committed fewer than three willful violations of this chapter.

(2)

Shall file a complaint in the appropriate court for removal of the public officer pursuant to NRS 283.440 when the public officer is found in the opinion to have committed three or more willful violations of this chapter.
Ê This paragraph grants an exclusive right to the Commission, and no other person may file a complaint against the public officer pursuant to NRS 283.440 based on any violation found in the opinion.

5.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any act or failure to act by a public officer or employee or former public officer or employee relating to this chapter is not a willful violation of this chapter if the public officer or employee establishes by sufficient evidence that:

(a)

The public officer or employee relied in good faith upon the advice of the legal counsel retained by his or her public body, agency or employer; and

(b)

The advice of the legal counsel was:

(1)

Provided to the public officer or employee before the public officer or employee acted or failed to act; and

(2)

Based on a reasonable legal determination by the legal counsel under the circumstances when the advice was given that the act or failure to act by the public officer or employee would not be contrary to the provisions of this chapter as interpreted by the Commission.

6.

In addition to any other penalties provided by law, if a public employee commits a willful violation of this chapter or fails to complete a period of compliance imposed by the Commission pursuant to NRS 281A.785 or by the review panel as part of the terms and conditions of a deferral agreement, the public employee is subject to disciplinary proceedings by the employer of the public employee and must be referred for action in accordance to the applicable provisions governing the employment of the public employee.

7.

The provisions of this chapter do not abrogate or decrease the effect of the provisions of the Nevada Revised Statutes which define crimes or prescribe punishments with respect to the conduct of public officers or employees. If the Commission finds that a public officer or employee has committed a willful violation of this chapter which it believes may also constitute a criminal offense, the Commission shall refer the matter to the Attorney General or the district attorney, as appropriate, for a determination of whether a crime has been committed that warrants prosecution.

8.

The imposition of a civil penalty pursuant to subsection 1, 2 or 3 is a final decision for the purposes of judicial review pursuant to NRS 233B.130.

9.

A finding by the Commission that a public officer or employee has violated any provision of this chapter must be supported by a preponderance of the evidence unless a greater burden is otherwise prescribed by law.
Source

Last accessed
Feb. 5, 2021