Keever loses court battle with Ethics Commission
April 30, 2003
Lee Ann Keever’s four-year battle over her dismissal as executive secretary of the Ethics Commission ended this week as U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson dismissed all her claims.
Describing her conduct as abusive and saying she acted “willfully and in bad faith,” Dawson also ordered her to pay $461 in costs and attorneys fees to the state Attorney General’s Office.
Keever was dismissed after the Ethics Commission was reorganized, including the hiring of a full-time executive director and commission lawyer. She said she was wrongfully terminated and accused state officials of slandering her. That action was dismissed by Carson District Judge Mike Griffin.
Keever then took her battle to federal court, filing a lawsuit without the help of a lawyer. It claimed the state failed to provide her with federally required information during her termination and did not allow her to work her final 30 days after being laid off.
She said she was also told she would have priority hiring rights for another job, but that the statement was later recanted. She said she received no help finding a new job with the state.
Dawson’s order, signed Monday, said Keever repeatedly violated discovery rules until she got a lawyer to help her. But he said that didn’t fix the problem and that, since getting a lawyer, she missed several scheduled dates to give a deposition and ignored court orders.
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Then, Dawson said, she filed a motion for default judgment in August 2002 which duplicated the same logic he had previously rejected. “In a bizarre twist before the court could rule on the motions, plaintiff’s counsel withdrew the motions and admitted to engaging in inappropriate ‘motion wars,” the judge noted.
He ruled she had acted in bad faith, harassed defendants “by filing of patently frivolous motions and pleadings” and continued to refuse to submit to discovery.
He ordered judgment entered for the state of Nevada on all claims and ordered Keever to pay the $461 in court costs.