Chuck Muth of Citizen Outreach has filed a complaint with the District Court of Carson City asking for the removal of Bob Loux – executive director for the Nuclear Waste Project Office of the Agency for Nuclear Projects for the State of Nevada – from office for malfeasance as provided for in NRS 283.440.
According to NRS 283.440, “Any person now holding…any office in this State…who is guilty of any malpractice or malfeasance in office, may be removed therefrom as hereinafter prescribed in this section.”
According to a September 9, 2008, story by Cy Ryan of the Las Vegas Sun, Mr. Loux gave “himself and his staff an unauthorized 16 percent pay raise,” well above levels set by the Legislature for his office.
On September 10, 2008, Brendan Riley of the Associated Press reported that Mr. Loux “apologized to the lawmakers’ Interim Finance Committee” (IFC) at the hearing on September 9, 2008, “for giving himself and other agency staffers unauthorized pay increases of up to 16 percent.”
According to the AP report, Mr. Loux’s agency falls under the governor’s office, but Mr. Loux ”didn’t report the pay increases to the governor and instead signed the paperwork needed to authorize the higher pay.”
The raises came to light at the IFC meeting because Mr. Loux had overspent his budget – which in itself is malfeasance in office per NRS 353.260 (copy attached).
According to the statute, “It is unlawful for any state officer, commissioner, head of any state department or other employee, whether elected or appointed, to expend more money than the sum specifically appropriated by law for any such office, commission or department.”
Mr. Loux admitted to the IFC that he both overspent his budget and personally approved the unauthorized pay increases. “I take full responsibility for all of these errors,” Mr. Loux said. “They were done by me.”
In an official letter to Mr. Bob Loux calling for his resignation, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons noted that a review by the Budget Office discovered that “there has been a history of salaries in (Mr. Loux’s) office paid well over the amounts budgeted” and that “increases have been made without my approval and in violation of NRS 223.085.”
According to a report by Ed Vogel in the September 11, 2008, edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mr. Loux’s “salary manipulation” resulted in Mr. Loux receiving a salary of $151,542 per year – well in excess of his authorized, approved and budgeted salary of $114,088.
In addition, the Budget Office review referenced by Gov. Gibbons shows that Mr. Loux’s willful and unauthorized actions resulted in salary increases for every member of his staff in excess of 27 percent higher than budgeted for Fiscal Year 2008, and in excess of 32 percent higher than budgeted for Fiscal Year 2009. In one case, one employee was scheduled by Mr. Loux to receive a salary increase next year which would have been more than 50 percent higher than budgeted.
According to Mr. Vogel’s story today, Mr. Loux has rejected Gov. Gibbons’ request for his resignation, saying “I am not going away.”
We’ll soon see!!