Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak is currently embroiled in a political scandal that, despite being almost completely ignored by the mainstream press, could bring down his regime and severely harm Democrats throughout the state.
Sisolak is being accused of trading a vote in exchange for a dropped lawsuit. The vote in question was on a controversial housing development worth at least $150 million, cast in exchange for current Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones dropping a lawsuit that could have hurt Sisolak’s gubernatorial chances. This all happened in 2018 when Sisolak was serving as chairman for the Clark County Commission and running in a tight primary race for governor.
Active lawsuits have assembled documents showing a decade-long orgy of corruption that needlessly held back this housing development at the behest of far-left environmentalist groups who now have increasing sway among Democrats.
According to legal filings in the case of GYPSUM RESOURCES, LLC v. CLARK COUNTY and CLARK COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones worked as legal counsel beginning in 2014 for “Save Red Rock,” an organization devoted to opposing economic development near the Red Rock Canyon under the guise of protecting the environment. He had a particularly vested interest in crushing a proposed housing development by Gypsum Resources. Gypsum wants to build 3,000 rural homes near the Red Rock Canyon that are in great demand as Americans look to flee destitute cities that are decaying rapidly due to current trends in urbanization.
“It will be very low density and very rural,” said Ron Krater, who works as Gypsum’s principal planner. “It will take into context that we are adjacent to the Red Rock National Conservation area. So it has significant components of preservation [and] trails.”
Gypsum’s motion to waive onerous federal regulations and allow the project to commence was denied by the board in 2019. Save Red Rock publicly declared the decision a victory, thanking Jones profusely in their gloating letter after the decision, and claiming that this is just the beginning of their agenda to keep lands barren and unoccupied in the name of protecting Mother Earth.
“Today was not just a minor victory or delay. Today was HUGE! 7 years ago, Commissioner Susan Brager attached some requirements to the development plan. Today, led by a motion by Commissioner Justin Jones, all the commissioners voted to deny the developer’s request to hear his plan without having to meet all the requirements. The developer cannot come back without meeting those requirements first. He has been unable to meet them in the past 7 years and we don’t think he can anytime soon. We are now looking to a brighter future for Red Rock Canyon. We will be working on new ways to give Red Rock more room to breathe instead of more crowding,” Save Red Rock president Heather Fisher said in a statement following the decision.
Court documents show that this vote was preceded by underhanded backroom dealings between Sisolak and Jones, with latter dangling a lawsuit over Sisolak’s head and offering him support from the environmental community if he helped torpedo Gypsum’s proposed housing development. Observers have been crying foul over the obvious conflict of interest but that has not stopped Jones, who has been working to cover his tracks with the Nevada Commission on Ethics. The commission ended up clearing Jones of wrongdoing, deeming his vote not to be a conflict of interest. However, Jones was less than forthright to the commission about the circumstances behind the vote, which he now admits in a court deposition.
Since Gypsum has had some success with their legal challenges in court, using discovery to effectively expose the Democrats’ inappropriate actions, Democrats are doing everything they can to delay the proceedings using shady tactics. Following Jones’ brutal deposition, Democrat county prosecutors have moved to close discovery in an attempt to stop the bleeding. This is similar to how Democrats routinely attempt to prevent legitimate audits and investigations into election results in order to prevent the damning evidence from being realized by the masses. Gypsum attorneys have destroyed this argument in legal filings.
“There is no amorphous privilege insulating the County from discovery into Gypsum’s claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, takings, or its other constitutional claims. Contrary to the County’s latest spin, this is not a judicial review proceeding. Gypsum has asserted a host of claims and the County likewise has asserted counterclaims. Furthermore, to the extent a privilege ever existed (it did not), the County waived it long ago by asserting defenses and counterclaims, serving and answering written discovery, subpoenaing third-parties, defending depositions, and noticing depositions of third parties and Gypsum representatives,” Gypsum’s attorneys argued in a legal filing obtained by Big League Politics.
“The County cannot affirmatively engage in discovery until it starts going poorly or hide the damning evidence already marshalled. Gypsum is entitled to discover, and present to the ultimate fact-finder, the full extent of the County’s misconduct so there can be a just and equitable resolution on the merits,” they added.
Big League Politics has obtained hundreds of pages of transcripts from Jones’ deposition. In his deposition, Jones repeatedly attempted to feign ignorance in order to downplay the implications of his agreement with Sisolak and their influence on the decision to reject Gypsum’s housing development. Jones was forced to expose his deceit throughout the deposition under pointed questioning from Gypsum’s special counsel.
One excerpt from the deposition shows Jones’ tremendous dishonesty in attempting to squirrel his way out of responsible for plotting with Sisolak:
“Counsel: Did you have communications with Mr. Sisolak?
Jones: Like I said, I don’t recall having direct communications with Mr. Sisolak beyond both of us appearing at political events together.
Counsel: Okay. Did you have any communications with Commissioner Brager after October 22 of 2018?
Jones: At any time after October 22nd?
Counsel: Yeah, before your election.
Jones: I don’t recall.
Counsel: Well, let’s go down to the email below the one that Mr. Schneider is responding to, where he talks about “they think we can’t really hurt him.” So you — you are sending this to Mr. Ferrence, correct?
Counsel: And you are sending it — it says, “Subject:· Red Rock issue.” It says, “Following up on our call yesterday” — okay, so you had spoke to Mr. Ferrence then on October 19, correct?
Jones: Appears so, yes.
Counsel: “I talked to Commissioner Sisolak this morning briefly.” Do you see that?
Counsel: So you would have spoken to him directly, correct?
Jones: Yeah, it appears so, yes.”
Another excerpt shows how Jones dangled the notion of dropping a lawsuit that could have hampered Sisolak’s chances at being elected governor in order to create the leverage needed to crush Gypsum’s housing development:
“Counsel: You then go on and then you list “Lawsuit,” “Clark County sued Red Rock [sic] for declaratory relief,” then it goes on to say, “Trial is scheduled for November 26, just days before Gypsum is trying to have its waiver application heard.· Yesterday, the court issued an order affirming Red Rock’s standing to pursue its claims against the county and included some unflattering language about county staff and referencing Commissioner Sisolak. A copy is attached.” What is the order that you are referencing there?
Jones: It was an order denying, I think it was Clark County’s motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment.
Jones: I think it was summary judgment.
Counsel: And what was the reference in the order to Commissioner Sisolak?
Jones: I don’t recall.
Counsel: Well, you go on to say that, “If the case goes to trial, it will likely be uncomfortable for Commissioner Sisolak, Commissioner Brager and county staff.” Why is that?
Jones: I presume that they would have had to — they’ve named them at — as witnesses for trial and that they would be put on the stand at a trial.
Counsel: Well, why are you identi- — why are you labeling Commissioners Sisolak and Brager?
Jones: Because they were the ones that were most involved in the decision-making process.
Counsel: What decision-making process?
Jones: With regards to the waiver.”
Another excerpt shows the counsel hammering Jones with the truth, from his own words expressed via email, to essentially nail him dead to rights on masterminding the deal with Sisolak:
“Counsel: You are saying you don’t know that, in fact, Save Red Rock sent out information to its email list in support of the Commissioner Sisolak after this agreement?
Jones: I don’t recall. I do remember it being on social media. I don’t recall a public appearance with the Commissioner Sisolak.
Counsel: Did you, after this date, make public appearance with Commissioner Sisolak and support him with the environmental community?
Jones: Like I said, I appeared with Commissioner Sisolak at political events for a year.
Jones: And I had expressed support for his campaign for governor for — since the primary.
Counsel: But this offer came directly, in the same email where you delivered the message that he was going to be uncomfortable at trial, right?
Jones: The statement is in the same email.
Counsel: Okay.· And you then also go on to specify that you had authorization to stipulate to dismiss all claims in the lawsuit immediately if Commissioner Sisolak would commit.
Counsel: And in fact you did that, right?
Counsel: How many days later, after you made this agreement through Mr. Ferrence, did you contact Mr. Warhola to dismiss the lawsuit?· Was it the next day?
Jones: I don’t recall.
Counsel: Well, we know that Commissioner Sisolak did as you asked, didn’t he; he fulfilled his end, right?
Jones: I — he published a statement in support of preserving Red Rock Canyon in opposition — I believe it was in opposition to the waivers. I don’t recall the specific language.
Counsel: Which is what you wanted him to do, correct?
Jones: That’s what Save Red Rock wanted him to do.
Counsel: Is it also something you wanted him to do?
The quid pro quo benefited Sisolak’s political career and very well may have propelled him to the office of the governor. Jones was able to rally the environmentalist coalition, which had only tepidly supported Sisolak up to that point, to be fully behind the man who would go on to be Nevada governor. Sisolak only won by 30,000 votes. The voters made their decision while blissfully unaware of the immense scandal lurking beneath the surface. If they had been exposed to the truth, those voters may have chosen another candidate to represent them who hadn’t been involved in potentially illicit pay-to-play dealings.
This Democrat cronyism has caused economic growth in Nevada to be stifled, not even factoring in the taxpayer money that has been wasted on lawsuits and other measures from corrupt Democrats desperately attempting to shirk accountability. Big League Politics will continue to provide updates on this story as it develops and antipathy builds against these Democrat lawmakers who have abused the political process and benefited mightily in doing so.