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Justin Jones staying on Clark County Commission, but resigning vice chair role

Carly Sauvageau
Carly Sauvageau
Local GovernmentSouthern Nevada

Clark County Commission Chair Jim Gibson told The Nevada Independent on Wednesday afternoon that Commissioner Justin Jones will be staying on the board, but giving up his position as vice chair. 

Jones’ resignation from the leadership position comes a week after officials from the Nevada Bar announced they were opening an investigation into the attorney, commissioner and former state senator’s conduct after a court sanctioned Jones in late April for deleted text messages following a vote over a contested development project. 

During a commission meeting earlier this month, several participants in public comment called for Jones’ resignation. The Nevada GOP has made similar requests about Jones, who is a Democrat.

“I will read you a letter that was just handed over, dated May 17,” Gibson said. “It says: ‘Please be advised that effective immediately, I hereby withdraw from my position as vice chair of the Clark County Board of Commissioners with the understanding that no notice of hearing will post or an agenda item considering my removal from the position of vice chair. Signed Justin Jones.’”

Jones did not respond to requests for comment from The Nevada Independent, but did release a statement through county spokeswoman Jennifer Cooper.

“By stepping down as Vice Chair, I am hopeful that the ongoing and contested legal disputes in the Gypsum Resources litigation will not distract further from the important work of Clark County and the Board,” Jones said. “I remain focused on my work as a Clark County Commissioner and the constituents I have been elected to serve.”

Though he will not have the title of vice chair, Jones has made no plans to resign from the commission, Gibson said, and Jones’ fellow commissioners do not have the authority to kick him out — a power that state law reserves for a court.

When asked if Gibson thought Jones should resign from the commission altogether, Gibson said he would let the matter play out further. 

“That battle is still being waged and [Jones] filed an objection to the court's order related under sanctions,” Gibson said. “At this point, he is contending that the court has taken the facts beyond where they should have been taken. And I'll let him fight that out.”

On Tuesday, Gibson called for clear ethics processes and transparency to be adopted by the board — a topic he revisited during Wednesday’s phone interview with The Nevada Independent.

“I think it would be very helpful for us to adopt the code of conduct that would remind us on a regular basis that we have to be in compliance with it,” Gibson said. “Something that would help us understand what is at risk if we don't keep ourselves conducting, ethically, the business of the county.”

Gibson said a code of conduct could provide guidance to commissioners on what information can be shared with the public, so they are not withholding information unnecessarily.

“I think it was a judgment issue,” Gibson said about Jones deleting the text messages. “It's something that if we draft a code of conduct, maybe the code of conduct reaches far enough to cover that and some other things that we know about ourselves.”


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