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James A. Gibbons was a Republican member of the U. S. House of Representatives representing the Second Congressional District of Nevada from 1997 to 2006. He currently serves as Governor of Nevada. 
Born on January 20, 1951 in Sparks, Nevada, Gibbons interrupted his studies at the University of Nevada, Reno during the Vietnam War to serve in the United States Air Force (1967-1971) (eventually earning his BS in 1967 and his MA in 1973). He also received his J.D. from the Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in 1979 and attended the University of Southern California for post-graduate studies. He is also a graduate of the US Air Force Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College. He joined the Nevada Air Guard in 1975 and served as its vice commander from 1990 to 1996, participating in the first Gulf War. During his military career, Gibbons earned nineteen service medals, including the Legion of Merit and Distinguished Flying Cross. In civilian life, he has worked as a lawyer in private practice, an airline pilot for both Western Airlines and Delta Air Lines, a hydrologist and a geologist.
Gibbons served in the Nevada State Assembly from 1989 to 1993, during which time he was called to active service in the Gulf War.
He was elected to the U.S. House in 1996. His wife, Dawn Gibbons, was elected to the Nevada State Assembly in 1998.
Gibbons voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.
Gibbons opted not to seek reelection in 2006, choosing instead to mount a bid for the governorship of Nevada.
Despite several scandals afflicting his campaign, Gibbons won his bid for the governorship.
- "Tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals [in Hollywood should]… go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else…. It's just too damn bad we didn't buy them a ticket [to become human shields in Iraq]." 
- "Anybody who is against that [corporate-funded celebrations] obviously must be a communist."
- "Look at the movie 'Wag the Dog, I think this [Monica Lewinsky Scandal] has all the elements of that movie. Our reaction to the embassy bombings should be based on sound, credible evidence, not a knee-jerk reaction to try to direct public attention away from his personal problems."
Meet the Cash Constituents
|Links to more campaign contribution information for Jim Gibbons
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
|Fundraising profile:||2008 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by organization/corporation:||2008 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by industry:||2008 election cycle||Career totals|
A speech given in February 2005 by Rep. Gibbons in Elko, Nevada was actually plagiarized from a copyrighted speech delivered in 2003 by then Alabama State Auditor Beth Chapman at a "Stand up America" rally. '
Gibbons also stirred controversy in the same month when Nevada House of Representatives Speaker Richard Perkins refused to allow a young singer and a color guard to perform for the gathered lawmakers in the Assembly chamber prior to a Gibbons' speech.
In November 2005, Gibbons and Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA) co-authored an amendment to the Federal Budget Reconciliation Bill easing restrictions of sale of federal lands to mining companies. This amendment attracted fire from environmentalists, anti-growth advocates, and even some Republican Senators ' concerned about the measure's effects on hunting and fishing. Although the bill (and amendment) narrowly passed the House, the stated opposition of many Democratic Senators and the concerns voiced by Republican Senators make the amendment's future uncertain.
Police investigation into alleged assault
Initial accusation and police action
On October 13, 2006, a Las Vegas cocktail waitress, Chrissy Mazzeo, accused Gibbons of assaulting her in a parking garage outside of a bar. Specifically, she accused him of grabbing her by the arm, pushing her against a wall, and aggressively propositioning her. Mazzeo immediately called the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, who subsequently took her deposition. 
Following the accusation, police waited a day before approaching Gibbons. In addition, they interviewed him at a nearby Residence Inn, rather than at the police station, as is typical for interrogations. 
Sid Rogich, Gibbons' top campaign consultant, later acknowledged discussing the matter with Clark County Sheriff Bill Young (who runs the police department) while the investigation remained open on October 14. Rogich had worked on Young's campaign in 2002, and Young had previously endorsed Gibbon's campaign for governor. 
Mazzeo asks for case to be dropped
On October 14, Mazzeo claimed that she did not want to spark a media circus by pursuing the matter, and requested that police drop the case, which they soon did. 
Gibbons' consultant attempts to silence the press
In addition to speaking with Young, Rogich called contacts at the Las Vegas Review-Journal on October 14 and attempted to persuade the newspaper's publisher to kill the Gibbons' story the following day. The paper reported the story the following morning under the headline, "Gibbons cleared by police," and quoted Sheriff Young as calling the incident "just a misunderstanding." 
Gibbons contradicts campaign's statement
On October 19, Gibbons admitted to walking to the garage with Mazzeo to help her find her truck. Once in the parking garage, he said, she slipped and he caught her as she fell. His campaign, however, had previously stated that this incident occurred just outside of the restaurant, and not in a parking garage. 
Mazzeo seeks to re-open investigation
On October 25, in a lengthy news conference, Mazzeo said she wanted "all the truth to come out" regarding the encounter between her and Gibbons. While she admitted to consuming four or five drinks over a period of several hours at McCormick's and Schmick's restaurant the night of the incident, she insisted, "I was not stumbling drunk." She announced that while she had lost confidence in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, she would cooperate with an investigation into the matter. 
Mazzeo also alleged that Gibbons' campaign, through a person known to Mazzeo, had attempted to bribe her to keep quiet about the incident. She stated that her friend, Pennie Puhek, claimed to be in touch with Gibbons through a legal secretary with whom the friend shares office space. Mazzeo alleged that Phuket told her she would receive money if she signed a document changing her account of the initial incident involving Gibbons and warned her that she, her family, and her baby could be killed if she did not. Phuket denied telling Mazzeo anything of the sort. 
Mazzeo also claimed she had been contacted by a private investigator working for Gibbons, as well as Gibbons' lawyer. She claimed that they pressured her to meet, sign an agreement, and make sure her official statement and Gibbons' matched. 
Mazzeo and her attorney, Richard Wright, noted several other complaints about the initial investigation. First, Wright stated that a police photographer had come to Mazzeo's house and taken pictures of her injuries on October 14. Wright, however, said his office never received copies despite repeated requests for them.  He also noted that while Nevada law requires police to disguise the identity of alleged assault victims, the Las Vegas police included Mazzeo's real name and home telephone number on police reports. 
On October 18, the police released copies of statements by Gibbons and Mazzeo. According to Mazzeo, David Groover, a private eye hired by Rogich, claimed on October 17 to have copies of both, leading her to believe that Rogich used his connections to the department to obtain them. 
Police begin investigation
On October 30, police reopened the investigation into Gibbons as a case of misdemeanor battery. Mazzeo's lawyer, Richard Wright, met with Las Vegas District Attorney David Roger that morning to discuss how to move the case forward before accompanying Mazzeo to a police station where she signed a statement retracting her previous request to drop the allegations. Later that afternoon, Mazzeo led several police officers through the parking garage where she claimed to be assaulted.   
Gibbons files suit
Later on October 30, Gibbons filed a lawsuit demanding that the police release surveillance videos that he claimed would prove he was never inside the parking garage where Mazzeo said the incident took place. He stated “The tapes will verify that I was never in the garage...I haven't seen the tapes. But I know what's not on them. I am not on them." According to the lawsuit, “Failure to produce the videotapes ... violates U.S. Rep. Gibbons' right to seek public office and the public's fundamental right to make an informed vote.”   
Gibbons' call for the tapes raised eyebrows to some. First, Gibbons had previously admitted to walking Mazzeo to the garage, where he claimed to have helped her up from a fall (rather than assaulted her).  In addition, Clark County Sheriff Bill Young had previously stated that while cameras were in the garage, they "weren't working that night." On October 30, however, the department acknowledged that they were examining videotapes from the scene. The following day, a judge ordered police to release the surveillance video, and make a copy available to Gibbons’ attorney, Don Campbell, and Richard Wright. 
Alleged mishandling of surveillance tapes
On October 29, the Las Vegas Review-Journal cited an anonymous source stating that the surveillance tapes had remained locked in a safe at the Hughes Center security office following the allegations. An unidentified employee had allegedly removed the tape, placed it in the safe and remained silent about its existence until it became evident that failing to produce it would be illegally concealing evidence and obstructing an ongoing police investigation. 
In the days that followed, it also surfaced that Rogich had once lobbied for Crescent Properties, the company which managed the complex where the alleged incident occurred. Given this connection, the authenticity of the recordings was challenged by both Mazzeo and Wright. 
On October 31, security experts noted that the tapes would be difficult to authenticate because they could have been faked fairly easily. In their view, unless police could establish a "rock-solid" chain of custody for the tapes, they almost certainly would be regarded as inconclusive. 
Police acknowledge previously denied 911 call
Later on October 31, police revealed a fourth 911 call related to the incident on the night of October 13. That call, at 11:32 p.m., came from a woman identifying herself as Mazzeo's sister. Reporters from the Las Vegas Sun had previously asked the police about the call, and were told there was no record of it. On a tape of the call, the sister pleads with a police dispatcher to tell her whether Mazzeo had called to report "a rape by Sen. Gibbons." The sister claimed Mazzeo had called her an hour earlier. 
Police recommend that no charges be filed
After investigating the case, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department recommended that no charges be filed against Gibbons on November 30, 2006. The department said it found no evidence to support the accusation of battery. 
Hiring of an illegal immigrant
In October 2006 as Gibbons was campaigning for governor, it was brought to light that he and his wife Dawn had employed Patricia Pastor Sandoval, a then-illegal immigrant from Peru, as a housekeeper and babysitter. Dawn, a state representative, denied the allegations, claiming that Sandoval had merely been a friend who had helped out around the house and was given clothing and household goods, but was not an employee. An employment contract from between Mrs. Gibbons and Sandoval, however, appeared to disprove that assertion as it clearly laid out the terms and conditions of Sandoval's hiring. Documents filed during Sandoval's 1988 application for working papers also contradicted earlier statements by Mrs. Gibbons that the family had not known that the woman was in the nation illegally. 
Sandoval states that she was employed from roughly 1987-1993. She also states that she was asked to hide in the basement and refrain from answering doors at certain times in order to ensure that her illegal status did not become public knowledge and jeopardize Gibbons' political career. In 1995, Dawn Gibbons filed a police complaint against Sandoval, alleging that she was attempting to extort money by threatening to go to the media with a story involving her illegal employment. Jim and Dawn Gibbons, however, later decided not to pursue the matter. 
In response to the revelations, Jim Gibbons' campaign issued a statement accusing Democratic candidate Dina Titus of fomenting the controversy to distract from the real issues of the race, but did not issue a denial of Sandoval's claims. 
FBI investigation into relationship with Warren Trepp
On November 1, 2006, the Wall Street Journal published a story stating that Gibbons had earmarked several millions of dollars to a company owned by Warren Trepp, as well as added additional funds to a pre-existing government contract with Trepp's company. The report noted that Trepp had paid for a $10,000 dollar cruise for Gibbons and his wife, which Gibbons failed to report, and $100,000 in campaign contributions. A former Trepp business partner claimed that Gibbons was also given gambling chips - convertible into cash - and cash directly. 
On February 15, 2007, the Journal reported that Gibbons was under federal investigation for allegedly accepting unreported gifts and/or payments from Trepp in exchange for official acts while he served in Congress (1997-2007). 
According to reports, on March 22, 2005, days before Trepp and his wife left for the Caribbean cruise with Gibbons and his family, Jalé Trepp, Warren’s wife, sent a reminder to her husband. It said, “Please don't forget to bring the money you promised Jim and Dawn (Gibbons).” Minutes later, Trepp responded, “Don't you ever send this kind of message to me! Erase this message from your computer right now!” 
The U.S. Attorney for Nevada at time of the investigation was Daniel Bogden, who was one of seven federal prosecutors forced out of his job by the Bush administration in December 2006. 
- See Congresspedia page on members of Congress under investigation
On May 13 2007, MSNBC reported that the FBI was investigating Gibbons. Warren Trepp's former business partner Dennis Montgomery, has stated that Gibbons accepted numerous cash bribes. Montgomery has also, provided investigators with an electronic trail of evidence. 
Committees and Affiliations
Committees in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)
- House Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
- Subcommittee on Terrorism Unconventional Threats and Capabilities
- House Committee on Homeland Security
- Subcommittee on Intelligence Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment
- Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack - 5
- House Committee on Resources
- Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources - Chair
More Background Data
- Information on Jim Gibbons from Congress Merge Wikipedia also has an article on Jim Gibbons. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.
Articles and Resources
- "Nevada GOP Candidate for Governor a.k.a Congressman Jim Gibbons involved in 'mysterious event' with woman last Friday night," AMERICAblog, October 18, 2006.
- Kathleen Hennessey, "Nev. gov. candidate denies wrongdoing," Associated Press (delivered by Boston.com), October 20, 2006.
- John Aravosis, "Breaking scandal in Nevada involving, of course, a Republican," AMERICAblog, October 24, 2006: "BIG UPDATE: Did Gibbons' wife, the possible next First Lady of Nevada, commit perjury?"
- George Knapp, "Exclusive: Former Employee Says Gibbons Knew of Her Illegal Status," LasVegasNow.com, October 25, 2006.
- "Mazzeo tells her side," Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 25, 2006.
- Molly Ball, "GIBBONS SCANDAL: Accuser alleges cover-up attempt. Woman describes pressure," Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 26, 2006.
- Jeff German, "She Says. Chrissy Mazzeo's story may tell us a lot about how Las Vegas really works," Las Vegas Sun, October 26, 2006.
- Justin Rood, "Gibbons: The Cover-Up is Worse than the Attempted Rape Allegation" and "Central Figure Emerges in Gibbons 'Cover-Up'," TPM Muckraker, October 27, 2006.
- "Property firm: Videotapes exist in Gibbons alleged assault case," KESQ ABC News Channel 3, October 30, 2006.
- Justin Rood, "In NV, Security Tapes Mysteriously Surface -- and They Look Good for Gibbons," TPM Muckraker, October 30, 2006.
- Scott Sonner, "Scandal Rocks Nevada Governor's Race," Associated Press (Washington Post), October 31, 2006.
- Justin Rood, "In Nevada, Gibbons Saga Continues" and "In Nevada Scandal, Political Ties (and More Questions) Surface," TPM Muckraker, October 31, 2006.
- Justin Rood, "In Nevada, Judge Orders Mystery Tapes Released"; "Update: Yet More Twists In Nevada Scandal"; and "WSJ: Gibbons Does the Donor-Favor Two-Step," TPM Muckraker, November 1, 2006.
- Paul Kiel, "WSJ: Nev Gov under Investigation," TPM Muckraker, February 15, 2007.
- Paul Kiel, "Today's Must Read," TPMmuckraker, April 10, 2007.
- By Lisa Myers, Jim Popkin & the NBC News Investigative Unit, "FBI probes Nevada governor for corruption," MSNBC, May 11, 2007.
Local blogs and discussion sites
District Office- Elko:
405 Idaho Street, Suite 214
Elko, NV 89801
District Office- Las Vegas:
600 Las Vegas Boulevard, Suite 680
Las Vegas, NV 89101
District Office- Reno:
400 South Virginia Street, Suite 502
Reno, NV 89501