Council accused

The Nevada attorney general’s office claims the Reno City Council violated the state open meeting statute with a Nov. 16 vote to subsidize the owner of the former site of Park Lane Mall.

Acting on a complaint filed by former and future mayoral candidate George “Eddie” Lorton, the May 26 state opinion drafted by Deputy Attorney General Sarah Bradley faults the wording of an agenda item, which read, “Direction to staff regarding the Park Lane site and infrastructure improvement offset; including but not limited to approval of an agreement.” While the Bradley opinion said there was no knowing violation of the law, it said it should have included the amount—$3.5 million for a $7 million improvement—that was at stake in the item.

A month after that action, on Dec. 14, the council at the recommendation of Reno City Attorney Karl Hall re-staged the original vote under a new agenda item to correct any open meeting violation. But Bradley’s opinion then found fault with that agenda item for failing to include the phrase “for possible corrective action.” No third attempt is planned.

City staff is urging the city attorney to appeal, though it’s not clear what there is to appeal. The attorney general’s office did not seek penalties against the city.