Former trustee files open-meeting laws complaint against IHGID

MINDEN -- A former trustee of the Indian Hill General Improvement District has filed a complaint alleging the district violated the state's open-meeting law.

Tom Sargent, public information officer for the Nevada Attorney General's Office, said attorney Richard Thornley filed the complaint on behalf of Joanne Riekenberg.

Thornley said he does not represent Riekenberg, but assisted her in filing the complaint as a friend, .

Sargent said Riekenberg's complaint alleges the district violated open-meeting laws when it did not give residents an opportunity to discuss plans for a new district office.

The office, at James Lee Park, is nearing completion.

Riekenberg claims the district board moved forward with plans for the office without soliciting public comment.

Riekenberg, a former district trustee, was recalled in July 2000 due, in part, to a proposed community center issue with proponents, accusing trustees of defying residents' wishes.

Riekenberg said the current plans are different from the community center/district office voted down in November.

"The current board never voted on finalized plans," Riekenber said. "It is just that residents didn't know."

Reikenberg said she submitted written comments opposing the district office at the January board meeting, but those comments were not reflected in subsequent meeting minutes.

Following reported outbursts at the office toward district employees, the district filed for a temporary restraining order last month to prevent Riekenberg from entering the office.

A Douglas District Court hearing on the restraining order was continued at Riekenberg's request until June 2.

Sargent said the Attorney General's Office has 10 to 12 audiotapes of past district meetings to review. He said it is expected to take two or three weeks.

Depending on what charges, if any, are filed, the district could face monetary fines.

District Chairman Ron Kruse said Riekenberg's charges are unfounded.

"They have no merit. No validity," he said. "She is totally off-base. We worked on (getting the new district office built) for 4 1/2 years. She was chairman of the board that made final approval."

Sargent said the Attorney General's Office is very serious about open-meeting laws.

"It is one of our most popular issues," he said. "We are not the only people who take the law seriously."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment