Laxalt voted against the pardon of a man he knew was wrongly convicted.
Laxalt tried to abstain from a pardon vote, but after Gov. Brian Sandoval wouldn’t let him abstain, he cast the lone ‘no’ vote against pardoning an innocent man, raising questions about his “fitness to be governor.”
After facing public backlash, Laxalt mixed his state office and campaign to beat back media stories about his controversial pardon vote.
The executive director of the Nevada Commission on Ethics told the Reno Gazette-Journal that, “Nevada law bars officials from using governmental time, property, equipment or other facilities – including state-owned phones and office subordinates – for their own personal or financial benefit.” Violators of that law can be subject to impeachment.
Laxalt’s office “did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment but, over a week of subsequent email correspondence, did not deny Laxalt’s appearance on the recording.”
Days later, Laxalt’s primary opponent, Dan Schwartz, called on Laxalt to resign as attorney general or drop out of the governor’s race: “There’s a real integrity question here, and it’s focused on his ability to separate his state office from his political ambitions.”
#AskLaxalt why he put his own agenda over doing what’s right.
“Was he distracted, paying attention to something on his phone? Did he not carefully examine the case? Did he not care that Steese had suffered decades of imprisonment for a crime he did not commit? Or was his campaign team whispering in his ear that he had to look ‘tough on crime’ at all times?” — Jon Ralston, The Nevada Independent, 11/12/17