Former Ethics Commission secretary files federal suit |

Former Ethics Commission secretary files federal suit

The former secretary of the Nevada Ethics Commission has taken her battle to federal court over a reorganization that eliminated her job .

Lee Ann Keever, who filed the federal court lawsuit without help from her lawyer, accused the state of failing to provide federally required information during her termination.

She says she received no exit interview and did not sign documents required for employees leaving the state’s service. And she says she was not allowed to work the final 30 days after being laid off, all of which makes her termination illegal.

Keever says she was told June 24, 1999, that her position with the Ethics Commission had been terminated at the end of May. She says she received no notice of dismissal before that meeting.

She also says that although she was told she would have priority hiring rights by the personnel department, “this statement was later recanted in a letter to Plaintiff on or about December 9, 1999.”

Keever’s suit charges that she was not given any help in finding a new state position that matched her job classification.

The 1999 Legislature voted to restructure the Ethics Commission, including creating a full-time executive director and hiring a full-time lawyer. At its June meeting, the commission gave Keever 30 days notice.

Keever had already filed suit in Carson City District Court over criticism of her job performance.

That suit demands an apology, retraction and damages over statements in a white paper that sharply criticized performance by an “employee” of the Ethics Commission, including delays in issuing opinions and uncollected fines owed the state by those who failed to file ethical disclosure documents. Keever was at that time the only Ethics Commission employee.

She said in a letter accompanying the federal court lawsuit that she filed on her own because her lawyer Jeff Dickerson was out of town and she wanted to protect her rights under federal law. She said she anticipates Dickerson will act as her counsel once he returns.