Get in the game or get off the field | NevadaAppeal.com

Get in the game or get off the field

Nevada Appeal editorial board

Controller Kathy Augustine has two strikes against her. And both, to continue the baseball metaphor, came without a swing.

Augustine offered no defense to Ethics Commission complaints against her, preferring to admit to willful violations of using state employees to work on her re-election campaign.

The admissions brought a wave of admonishments from fellow Republicans, including Gov. Kenny Guinn, that she should resign her position and put the mess behind her.

But no.

Augustine vowed to fight the charges against her in impeachment hearings before the Legislature. Guinn called a special session, gathered the Nevada Assembly in Carson City (at taxpayer expense) and a hearing began – the first of its kind in the state’s 140-year history.

So did Augustine rebut the charges? Offer a spirited defense? Make a case that, despite allegations from her former staff, she was carrying out her constitutional duties? Offer any explanation whatsoever?

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No.

Instead, her attorneys complained she was being unfairly treated. Specifically, they argued the Attorney General’s Office’s Gerald Gardner shouldn’t have been able to put his testimony into the record. It was replete, they said, with “hearsay, innuendo and argument.”

That’s rather hard for us to judge, as Augustine’s defense so far has consisted of public comments that she didn’t know what was going on in her office.

Now comes the Nevada Senate, which next month will have its own impeachment hearing and a chance for Augustine’s team to mount some kind of defense – or watch as strike three zips past.

Either play ball or get off the field.