Sisolak credits Ford for Little Valley Fire settlement |

Sisolak credits Ford for Little Valley Fire settlement

FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2016, photo, a firefighter hoses down the area on Mount Rose Highway and Edmonton Drive.
AP | The Reno Gazette-Journal

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday credited the efforts of Attorney General Aaron Ford for settling claims filed after the Little Valley Fire.

He said the state was at substantial risk of ending up with a bill millions higher than the $25 million settlement approved by the Board of Examiners.

What started as a controlled burn in October 2016 erupted into a raging wildfire that destroyed 23 homes and numerous outbuildings in the Franktown Road area. After an 81-page report blamed the fire on gross negligence by the state, victims filed claims totaling more than $300 million and argued in court the state’s $100,000 cap on tort damages should be tossed out in this case.

More than half the settlement will come form the state’s insurance policy, $15 million. Of the rest, $7 million will come from the state’s Contingency Fund and $3 million from the Tort Claims Fund.

That will leave just more than $4 million in each of those accounts.

Of the total settlement, $18 million will go into a fund to compensate those victims that will be managed by District Judge Scott Freeman in Reno. Most of the rest will reimburse insurance companies for what they’ve already paid the victims.

The board also approved more than 150 contracts necessary to move the state into the 2020 Fiscal Year that begins July 1. A large number of those contracts are to enable the Public Works Board to get started on a long list of maintenance, planning and construction projects and contracts to continue services to a variety of agencies and programs into a new year.

In addition, Finance Director Susan Brown presented board members a report showing overtime pay and compensatory leave for state workers totaled $35.55 million in the third quarter of FY2019.

As always, the departments with the highest amount of leave were Health and Human Services at $3.15 million and Corrections at $3 million.

NDOT was third with $2.12 million and Public Safety at $1.74 million. All other departments reported less than $1 million in OT and comp-time leave.

HHS and Corrections, Brown said, were each at about $9 million through the first three-quarters of the fiscal year.