OCTOBER 20, 2008
For the second time in a week Nevada’s governor has been sued, this time by a high-ranking state employee fired for reporting the governor’s personal use of a state cell phone to send hundreds of text messages to a girlfriend.
The veteran state worker claims she was removed from her job as head of the division that audits the governor’s office after telling her boss about Republican Governor Jim Gibbons’ inappropriate use of his state cell phone to send more than 860 personal text messages over several weeks.
A Reno newspaper first reported the violation in June after a public information request revealed that Gibbons had exchanged 867 text messages in March and April 2007 with the estranged wife of a Reno doctor.
In her lawsuit, the state budget department official says that her firing has chilled the constitutional rights of all state employees to bring matters of public concern to the public’s attention. She also said that she had raised numerous issues relating to the governor’s expenditures before getting fired and that the governor had requested she stop auditing his office and staff.
A week ago Gibbons, who served five terms in the U.S. House before being elected governor last year, was sued by a Las Vegas waitress who accuses him of making unwanted sexual advances and threatening to rape her. The waitress says that the governor pushed her against a wall in a parking garage and propositioned her to have sex in 20006.
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