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Remember regents at election time

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

Whether two Community College of Southern Nevada executives should have been demoted by the University and Community College Regents has been overshadowed by the Regents’ failure to uphold the Nevada Open Meeting law in their proceeding against the two men.

The debate over whether college president Ron Remington and John Cummings got a fair hearing will be settled in court.

However, where a majority of the Regents ran into trouble was with a very simple part of the open meeting law.

The law allows public boards to meet in private to discuss the personality or behavior of an employee.

However, when it comes time to take action, that action must be taken in public.

Nevada Attorney General Brian Sandoval’s office has already issued an opinion saying regents violated the law and has filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court to void Remington and Cummings’ reassignments.

Sandoval points out that a slim majority of Regents had reached consensus when they stepped out in public to cast their vote.

All the lawsuits in the world, however, are not going to make one bit of difference to those regents who agreed with their demotion behind closed doors.

Regents Bret Whipple, Tom Kirkpatrick and Jack Schofield defended their action in public. Our own regent Jill Derby voted in favor of dismissing the two officials.

Credit should go to regents Marcia Bandera and Steve Sisolak for questioning the legality of the regents’ action.

Hopefully, when these regents come up for election, their positions on open government will become an issue.

Only then can Nevadans send the proper message to the people they’ve hired to operate the state’s institutions of higher learning.