Official wants answers soon from Wheeler
December 11, 2013
Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller wants answers from Republican Assemblyman Jim Wheeler about alleged discrepancies in his financial disclosure statements.
In a letter sent Monday and obtained by The Associated Press, Miller's elections deputy gave Wheeler until the end of the year to respond to allegations that he failed to include a $6,000 tax lien from Michigan and listed varying times of residency on the required filings.
The issue will be turned over to the attorney general if Wheeler doesn't comply.
The allegations were raised in a Sept. 30 letter by Kelly Kite, a former assemblyman who lost to Wheeler in the 2012 GOP primary for Assembly District 39.
"I took no pleasure in it, but it was something I felt somebody had to do, and I didn't want somebody else to do something I was afraid to do myself," Kite told The Record-Courier at the time.
In documentation submitted by Wheeler to the Secretary of State's Office, he listed three lengths of time he has lived in Nevada that don't jibe.
In a form filed in March 2010, Wheeler said he'd lived in the state and district for four years. In a form filed in March 2012, he said he'd lived in the district and state for nine years.
Eight months later, in January 2013, Wheeler listed 10 years as the length of his residency.
Kite also pointed out that Wheeler's disclosure forms do not list where he gets his income or whether he has any debts.
According to the accusation, Wheeler didn't disclose a $6,168.66 tax lien filed against him in Michigan. A firm Wheeler lists in his disclosure, WheelerCo Products, shows two judgments totaling $99,585 listed in public records in Los Angeles.
Kite says that under Nevada law, that debt should have been reported on his Nevada election forms.
In October, Wheeler said bluntly, "I don't know what the hell he's talking about."
"I've never owned a company in Michigan," Wheeler told the Nevada Appeal. "I've never had employees in Michigan."
Wheeler beat Kite by 192 votes in the 2012 primary.
Wheeler set off a storm of criticism later in October when a YouTube video surfaced of him saying he'd vote to reinstate slavery if that's what his constituents wanted him to do. He apologized and called the comment "clearly facetious."
He said if the comments were offensive, "I sincerely apologize."
"I intended the statement as an extreme example of something unacceptable," Wheeler said.
Prominent members of both parties, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, condemned the remarks.