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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
October 16, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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October 16, 1997

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Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, October 16, 1997 11 A golden opportunity knocks - citizens be alert employee who sent the PVG an unsigned letter in an attempt to defend Nye County's action of purchasing $60,000 worth of com- lmter equipment without going through any form of a hid process whatsoever. In addition to these 23 articles, I am also enclosing copy of a column that the Nye County Manager at the time, Bill Offuttt, managed to have killed back in mid-1996. Although most of this material is self-explanatory, I am in possession of extensive documentation to back it up. If necessity, I nf course have an extensive array of confidential contacts who have assisted me in my endeavors. Since many of these people rightfully fear for their jobs because of the assistance that they have provided to me from time to time their identities will remain shielded which is my right as a journalist pursuant to NRS 49.275. While deviations from this policy may very well be possible, any such deviation THIS MAN'S OPINION by Brent Mathewson would and could occur only with the full knowledge and consent'of the individual in- volved. I am looking forward to attempt to be able to provide you with any additional information that you may request in this matter. Most Sincerely, Brent Mathewson end. 1. Credit due.debt paid, October 10, 1996 2. The lies that bind, October 24, 1996 3. Budget difficulties at tl top-in Nye-again?, November 21, 1996 4. False papers ignited DA's investigation, November 28, 1996 5. Nye PE'IT loans violate NRS law, January 2, 1997 6. Is Nye administration kiting County funds?, January 2, 1997 7. Train Wreck on the horizon, January 16, 1997 8. D-day for Nicholson-Fchruary 4, 1997, January 30, 1997 9. A lesson in failure, February 6, 1997 10. FY 95-96 audit- Wake up call, February 13, 1997 11. Chess and chains in Nye County, Match 6, 1997 12. Bankruptcy and Sparkiett's Bottles, Mareh 13,1997 . 13. Nye Commission caught in its own trap, March 27, 1997. : : . . 14. County Manager gets feathers in an ulroar, April 10, 1997 15. Acker lawsuit shows the ugly side of Nye, June 19, 1997 16. NCEA union is not the problem, June 26, 1997 .17. County Manager just says it isn't so, July 3, 1997 18. Anatomy of a rigged county bid, July 17, 1997 19. Nye taxpayers burned for $87,382 in incinerator put chase, July 24, 1997 20. Bradshaw and Nicholson; Two peas in a pod, July 31, 1997 21. Compromise is no virtue when dealing with the devil, August 21, 1997 22. Under the drumroll of the school bond issue, Septem her 1t, 1997. 23. Only in Nye: When an audit is not an audit, September 25, 1997 24. One additional enclosure, No way to mna road department-or a railroad, unpublished The reader should be encouraged and aware that it is already the opinion of the Nevada Department of Taxation that the fiscal year 1995-96 Nye County audit, conducted by Certified Public Accoun- tant Daniel C. McArthur, appears to be seriously deficient and does not comply with the provisions required by Nevada Revised Statutes On September 25, 1997, the Pabrump Valley Gazette (PVG) published This Man's Opinion column titled "Only In Nye - When an audit is not an audit." Readers were requested to write letters to the executive director of the Nevada Department of Taxation asking that an extensive, across the beard, audit be conducted by the department in order that a true understanding of Nye County's fiscal and financial condition and position could be realized. It is with no small degree of apprcciation, and pleasure if you will, that I can report that the reader's response to this request was significant. The Department of Taxation's response to those levers is also not without significance. The letters were and are being answered individually, not in a form letter context, and a typical response to those letters (with the addresses name deleted) reads as follows: October 4, 1997 Name and address deleted Re: Request for Audit of Nye County Dear Mr: Thank you for your letter dated September 29, 1997. You have requested the Department of Taxation perform a complete audit of Nye County, including actions of the county's administration, inde- pendent auditor, and the Board of County Commissioners. As a Budget Analyst in the Local Government Finances section of the Department, I have been selected to conduct a preliminary review of the situation. My assignment is to ascertain the validity and scope of the allegations contained in Mr. Mathewson's article. In response to your request, there are various types of audits which could be performed (compliance, financial, fraud, operations and/or program). To conduct complete audits of the types specified above would involve more resources than are currently available to the section. This' would also exceed the statutory authority of the section. If significant areas of concern are identified, a recommen- dation will be made for other capable parties to assume control of and expand the review/investigation. Thank you again for your letter. If you should have any further questions or concerns, please contact me at (702) 867-8358. Sincerely, Warner R. Ambrose, Budget Analyst Local Government Finance The preliminary review stage that Mr. Ambrose speaks of in his letter has begun and is expected to last through to the end of November of this year. Late last week I was contacted by the Nevada Department of Taxation and asked if[ would provide them with additionalinformao tion to back up the validity and scope of the allegations made in This Man's Opinion article dated September 25, 1997. My response to this request is encapsulated in a letter that has been sent to the Department of Taxation and reads as follows: Brent Mathewson, HCR 69 Box 478A Amargosa Valley, Nevada 89020 October 13, 1997 Warner R. Ambrose, Budget Analyst Local Government Finance Department of Taxation State of Nevada Dear Mr. Ambrose: In order to most efficiently provide you with background infor- marion in the initial stage of your preliminary review to ascertain the validity and scope of the allegations in my acle, "Only in Nye- When an andR is not an audit," I am enclosing 23 articles that have. been published in the Pahrump Valley Gazette under my byline, "This Man's Opinion/over the last twelve months. Alfimugh it may take you a few hours to digest the information in these articles, this is the quickest way that I can think of to give you a "feel" for what is going on in Nye County at the fiscal and financial level. The criteria used in selecting these articles from among others available was, "Does the material contain information that is directly or indirectly of interest to the Nevada Department of Taxation?" You may find this material explosive. It is my hope that you do. You may find it an item of interest that of all the columns that I have had published over the years, I have been publicly challenged on a single occasion as to the truth and accuracy of the material contained in those articles. The single exception involved a Nye County Letters to the Editor (NRS) Chapter 354.594 and was not conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. As a result of this belief, the Department of Taxation has referred McArthur's Nye County audit of fiscal year 1995-96 to the State Board of Accountancy for investigation as they are required pursuant to NRS 354.6245. So where do we go from here, you may be asking. It is sincerely hoped that the citizens' participation in these unfolding events is not yet over. As the reader was alerted and warned in the article "Only In Nye - When an audit is not an Audit," this is not only a legal problem but also a political problem. Citizen participation and awareness is vital if the political and legal process is to work as intended in this country and in our form of government. What the average Nye County citizen - a person who has no direct knowledge of fiscal wrong doing, fraud, misappropriation of gov- ernment funds, etc., but has a sincere sense that something is terribly wrong with fiscal and financial control in Nye County - can do, with considerable effect, is to write Michael Pitlock, the Executive Director oftbe Department of Taxation, State of Nevada, 1550 East College Parkway, Suite 115, Carson City, Nevada 89706, and request that if the preliminary review presently being conducted into be financial situation in Nye County identifies significant areas of concern, then the preliminary review be followed by an expanded review/investigation including an extensive and broad based audit into all aspects of Nye County governments. An audit of this type will run to considerable expense and this expense would be home by Nye County as specified in NRS 354.624. It would nevertheless be cheap at twice the price. There are many and numerous substantial reasons to believe that activities that are rampant in Nye County could not survive an audit of this type. Powerful forces will be aligned opposing such an audit. If individual citizens in sufficient number act as suggested, government can and will perform as intended. For those citizens, both county employees and otherwise, who have specific knowledge of actions at the county level that they know to believe to be illegal and/or in violation of Nevada Statutes, there are two things which could be done quite easily and retain confidentiality at the same time. You could doone, theother, orboth depending on what you ave most comfortable with. One thing you could do would be to send your iformation to Michael Pitlock, Executive Director of the Nevada Depamnent of Taxation whose address has been furnished above. Mark your letter or package "confidential" and it will go directly to Mr. Pitlock's hands and the source of the information will remain confidential forevermore. The other avenue that you could take, if you wish, would be to send it to this writer at the address shown earlier in this article or fax it to me at (702) 372-1420. As a journal/st in the State of Nevada my sources of information are protected by NRS 49.275 which is Nevada's shie.Jd law and nads as follows: NRS 49.275-News mediLNo reporter, former reporter or edito- rial employee Jaf any newspaper, periodical or press association or employee of any radio or television station may be required to discloseany published or unpublished information obtained or prepared by such a person in such a person's professional capacity in gathering, receiving or processing information for communication to the public, or the source of any information procured or obtained by such person, in any legal proceedings, trial or investigation. 1. Before any court, grand jury, coroner's inquest, jury or any officer thereof. 2. Before the legislature or any committee thereof. 3' Before any department, agency or commission of the state. 4. Before any local governing body or committee thereof, or any officer of aqocal government. You would be surprised at how many members of the legal profession, let alone journalists, are ignorant of this law. And by that ignorance do not and cannot share in the protection it offers. And so, to the citizens of Nye County, to a measurable degree the outcome of the Department of Taxation's investiga- tions into the f'mancial affairs of Nye County is in your hands. I pray you will act accordingly. That is this man's opinion. copyright 1997 by Brent Mathewson %, Proud of Amargosa Valley Claribel Dansby's family wishes to thank everyone for being such wonderful people. The flowers, donations to Church of Amargosa, food brought tO the home and potluck after grave side services. At times like this, it renews the reason we are proud of our community in Amargosa Valley. We love you all. Lavada Palmer, Flora Mae Dansby, Sherry Knight, 10 grandchildren and 10 great hiklren. Dear Pahrump Valley Gazette L Bob Holleman, Rodeo Dimc for the Palmanp Chamber of and my committee want to thank you for your 8ener- ous contributiou to tbe 16th Annual Hantest Festival Rodeo. There were no major problems, although we were chal- lenged with a few minor ones which our rodeo committee was able to handle. We had over 4,000 total spectators, and 350 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association contestants. Due to your support and added monies we were able to attract 25 of the Top 95 I I PRCA Rodeo Contestants. Many spectators were able to get autographs from Tuff Hedeman, Bullrider; Joe Beaver, Calf Roping; Roy Cooper, Calf Roping; Johnny Chavez, B ullrider; and Doyle Geilerman, Team Roper. Pahrump's own Channel 41 TV station was broadcasting from the rodeo each night. We hope that you have had a chance to view their coverage. Once again, Thank You, we couldn't have done it without you! We look forward to working with you next year. Robert Holkman Rodeo Director Funding arts and sciences Much to-do has been made lately whether Congress should fund or not fund the arts and sciences. Article One, section 8, clause 8, of the Constitution tells congress what to do about it. In part,'ro promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." I'm impressed by the fact that only writings and discover- ies are listed. Where does that leave other forms of art? The II I words "useful arts" excludes most of the trash that the socialists have had congress fund in the past and the clause does not mention funding, just exclusive right for a limited time to "their respective writings and discoveries." Congress has no authority to fund either one, but they have been funding many anti-Christian works. Another law broken by the law makers! Jim Lee Pahrump I The Pahrump Valley Gazette corrects mistakes. Errors should he brought to the attention of the newspaper by calling 727.$583, oat All opinions expressed on the letters page are these of the artist or author indicated. The Gazette reserves the right to edit all letters for length and HheL Furthermore, letters with mms wi will only be Imblished ffa legitimate fear of retribution ezbts. i