The Mineral County Board of County Commissioners addressed “acknowledgment of receipt of Open Meeting Law Opinion #13897-314 of the Nevada Office of Attorney General relative to the complaint of Thomas A. Bergeron” as stated on the June 5 agenda.
The findings of fact and conclusions of law from the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Nevada states: “Thomas A. Bergeron, Sr. filed a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) alleging violations of the Nevada Open Meeting Law by the Mineral County Board of County Commissioners concerning a board meeting held on Sept. 5, 2018.” Bergeron alleged that the agenda and minutes of that board meeting were deceptive and misleading. The agenda item from that Sept. 5 meeting was the approval of business license applications with one being submitted from Mark Everhart; Creative Condos IV, LLC. Creative Condos IV, LLC is a cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and sales business to which the board acknowledged and approved.
The minutes from that meeting do not state that Creative Condos IV, LLC is a cannabis related business.
The OAG found that the board of commissioners violated the Nevada Open Meeting Law by “failing to include a clear and complete statement of topics to be considered on the Sept. 5, 2018 meeting agenda.”
The finding stated that the subject of cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and sales is of special or significant public interest.
District Attorney Sean Rowe read the complaint into record and advised the board to acknowledge “receipt of the opinion”. Commissioner Garth Price motioned acknowledgment of said complaint.
Bergeron who filed the claim and was present for the June 5 meeting stated that Rowe’s interpretation was softer than the actual claim. Bergeron stated that the omission of the word “marijuana” was deliberate on behalf of the commissioners as stated in his claim.
“When you took your oath of office, you did not take an oath of office to Mineral County. You did not take an oath of office to the State of Nevada or the Nevada constitution. Your oath of office specifically – you took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, Article 6, Paragraph 2 – the Supremacy Clause. You pledged yourself as a condition of your holding that office that you will support the federal law which is supreme to any state law or regulation. And the minute that you do something contrary to that, such as try to slip in something that is illegal under federal law you disqualify yourself from the position of commissioner,” he lectured the commissioners. “You cannot violate a federal law and be a commissioner.”
The board violation was found to be outside of the 60 days after the action objected to was taken by the attorney general’s conclusion therefore the only recourse of the board was to acknowledge the violation. No further action was taken.