A county commissioner in Nevada has been accused of deleting text messages related to an alleged “quid pro quo” scheme with Democrat Governor Steve Sisolak that drove a developer into bankruptcy.
According to a recent court filing, Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones conspired with the governor prior to both of them taking office to harm a private company, Gypsum Resources, in exchange for a lawsuit being dropped against the county.
Jones is now accused of destroying “public records in an effort to conceal his improprieties relative to Gypsum.”
Lawyers for the company are accusing Jones of deleting texts from the time leading up to a key vote in 2019 that delayed Gypsum’s proposed housing project overlooking Red Rock Canyon — which was opposed by environmental activists who happened to be represented in a lawsuit against the county by Jones.
Jones, then a candidate for county commission, still represented the environmental nonprofit Save Red Rock in late 2018. Sisolak, at the time, was a commissioner running for governor.
In a pre-election email from October 2018, Jones wrote to a Sisolak campaign aide that he could dismiss Red Rock’s lawsuit against the county — if he would oppose a vote on the project, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
“Days later, Sisolak announced his support for delaying any vote until after the election, when two new commissioners would be seated — one of whom wound up being Jones,” the report explained.
Two weeks after that, Jones and Save Red Rock dropped the lawsuit.
As part of Gypsum’s bankruptcy case and lawsuit against county and commissioners, they requested all communications between the Democrat duo leading up to the vote. Despite a court ordering them to be handed over, an audit found that they were deleted and unrecoverable.
“A court-ordered forensic audit of Jones’ cell phone and iCloud accounts found that all of Jones’s text messages leading up to the April 2019 vote were deleted and unrecoverable, the court filing says. The earliest messages on Jones’s phone were from roughly six hours after the commission voted unanimously to deny Gypsum Resource’s request to waive a condition and proceed with their preliminary plan to develop 3,000 homes,” Breitbart News reports.
The report pointed out that “although Jones called Gypsum Resources’ allegations a ‘relentless smear campaign,’ his lawyers did not dispute the findings of the audits.”
“Gypsum and its lawyers have engaged in a relentless smear campaign against me since the day that I and my Commission colleagues unanimously voted to hold Gypsum to its own commitments regarding its ill-conceived plan to develop thousands of houses in Red Rock Canyon. This latest legal filing is just more of the same vindictive personal attacks designed to bolster its efforts to bankrupt the county,” Jones told the Review-Journal.
Gypsum Resources has requested a hearing to impose sanctions on Jones and the county over the alleged destruction of evidence.
Breitbart noted, “if granted, the court could impose ‘significant monetary sanctions’ against both Jones and Nevada’s Clark County. Given that Clark County recently struggled to make a multimillion dollar bond payment on the all new Raider’s Stadium amid shortfalls in room tax revenue, the lawsuit could spell financial ruin for the county.”