Nielsen named governor's counsel

Christopher Nielsen has been named general counsel to Gov. Jim Gibbons.

He fills the vacancy created when Josh Hicks moved from the position to become chief of staff.

Nielsen is currently the deputy executive director of the Nevada Department of Taxation, where he oversees the compliance division, including the administration of tax law and policies. In that position, he also monitors department legislation and regulations and manages taxpayer appeals to the Nevada Tax Commission.

Gibbons praised Nielsen's in-depth knowledge of state law, saying that will help him with the wide variety of issues the governor's office faces.

"I'm confident he will be a tremendous asset as we move into the 2009 Legislative Session," Gibbons said in a statement announcing the appointment.

Before joining taxation, Nielsen was a senior deputy attorney general representing the Secretary of State on issues including elections and commercial recordings.

He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science in biology and received his law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Nielsen will begin his new position Aug. 11.

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