Gov's office gives Parole Board member disciplinary wrist-slap

A review by the governor's office of the Nevada Parole Board, whose chairman recently resigned, has resulted in a disciplinary wrist-slap for a second board member.

Tami Bass, appointed to the board by Gov. Kenny Guinn in September 1999, faces a five-day suspension without pay in early January. She also was warned that any future ''work-related misconduct'' could result in her removal from the seven-member board.

The stated reason for the disciplinary action was that Bass drove a vehicle during work hours while her driver's license was suspended.

But the review by the governor's office had focused on other issues as well, including a misdemeanor conviction for welfare cheating and two judgments for more than $26,000 in old student loans.

Bass, of Las Vegas, agreed to the disciplinary action on Monday. Earlier, she had been asked to consider shifting to another state agency but decided against that.

The board chairman, Richard Wyett, announced Nov. 16 that he was resigning.

Wyett, in his resignation letter, didn't mention Bass by name but said factors in his decision included ''recent conflicts and allegations as well as my personal opinion about inappropriate activity ... that seriously undermines the board's credibility.''

Wyett, a longtime staffer and administrator of the state Parole and Probation Division, had come out of retirement six months ago to take the $78,000 Parole Board chairmanship at Guinn's request.

Asked about any clashes with Wyett since his appointment as Parole Board chairman, Bass said, ''I never had a harsh word with the man at all.'' She added most of her work was done in Las Vegas while Wyett was in Carson City.

Regarding her court record, Bass said she wouldn't have hesitated to disclose the judgments when she got her Parole Board job - ''but I was not asked to fill out an application. I was just appointed.''

Guinn said that when he took office in January 1999 there were no procedures for checking backgrounds of people seeking appointments. He also said he hadn't been aware of her welfare fraud conviction, which resulted in three years' probation, a day in jail and an order to make restitution.


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