Mineral County District Attorney Sean Rowe and the State of Nevada Attorney General’s office have released a partial record of emails and documents to the Independent-News regarding the uncounted votes in Mineral County’s November 2014 election.
The documents being withheld are an unknown number of emails between Rowe and Deputy Attorney General Kevin Benson. Both Rowe and the Attorney General’s office quoted “related to and being used in an ongoing criminal investigation.” According to a statement released by Rowe on Jan. 26, “District Attorney Sean Rowe has initiated an investigation into the discrepancy.”
Former Clerk Cherrie George gave an exclusive statement to the Independent-News and KOLO-TV Ed Pearce, stating, “On Jan. 26, I personally contacted the Secretary of State office and asked if there was a criminal investigation being conducted and if so, why. I was told no investigation was being conducted nor was one necessary.”
Neither the Attorney General’s office nor Rowe have returned numerous requests for comment from the Independent-News regarding the uncounted votes.
Both cited Donrey v. Bradshaw, a Nevada case which stems from a March 1986 case where Joe Conforte, owner of the Mustang Ranch near Reno, contributed to the delinquency of a minor. Charges were dropped against Conforte and a written report was compiled against him in opposition of the ruling by Reno Police. Requests for the report were refused when requested by Donrey of Nevada dba KOLO-TV and Reno Newspapers dba Reno Gazette-Journal.
The explanation given by the Attorney General’s office in regards to the uncounted ballots states, “These documents are being withheld pursuant to the balancing test articulated in Donrey of Nevada v. Bradshaw, 798 P.2d 144 (Nev. 1990) […] because they are related to and currently being used in an ongoing criminal investigation.”
The Secretary of State’s Office too responded to the Independent-News request with documents and emails to follow in the next few weeks.