Despite hitch, Carson City officials sworn in

jason woodbury oath

District Attorney Jason D. Woodbury is sworn into office Monday January 05, 2015

by: John Barrette

Despite a hitch that didn’t rise to a glitch, 11 Carson City officials were sworn in Monday for new terms in office.

The hitch was the fact Chief Justice James Hardesty got delayed and wasn’t able to make the 10 a.m. ceremony at the court house until three of the 11 were sworn in by District Judge James T. Russell. Russell said he had been sworn in earlier by a notary public in case any hitch developed. Russell had then sworn in District Judge James E. Wilson Jr., also before the official ceremony as well.

Russell administered the oath and swore in Assessor David A. Dawley, Clerk-Recorder Susan Merriwether, District Attorney Jason D. Woodbury, Sheriff Kenneth T. Furlong and Treasurer Alan P. Kramer. Wilson handled the swearing-in of Supervisors Karen Abowd and Lorraine H. Bagwell, who are from Wards 1 and 3, respectively; and school Trustees Ron Swirczek, Stacie Wilke, Ryan Green, and Deonne Contine, who represent, respectively, Districts 1, 3, 4 and 6.

Supervisor Lori Bagwell and Supervisor Karen Abowd are sworn in to office by District Court Judge James Wilson

Supervisor Lori Bagwell and Supervisor Karen Abowd are sworn in to office by District Court Judge James Wilson

“I’m excited to begin this journey,” said Supervisor Lori Bagwell, who later Monday sat in her initial Board of Supervisors meeting after defeating John McKenna in last November’s election.

Supervisor Abowd, beginning her second term, said it was great to see the new third floor court room packed with people, more crowded than her first swearing-in ceremony four years ago. She said she looks forward to working on moving the city and city government forward in her second term. Bagwell and Abowd hugged after taking their oath together and shaking hands with the judge, the first to congratulate them.

The sheriff was subjected to some ex parte humor by Russell before taking his oath. The judge said he couldn’t recall how many terms Furlong had served, joshing that the head of local law enforcement seemed like Carson City’s “sheriff for life.” Furlong afterward said it was his fourth term, adding as he did that the city is doing well. “Everything is going so well I just can’t believe it,” he said.

furlong russell

Corruption meets corruption. Carson City Sheriff Furlong is sworn into office.

Furlong credited, in part, public input and he joined Abowd in noting the crowd at the ceremony. Giving an example, he said his office had caught a burglar over the weekend due to help from the public.

“This is a tight community,” Furlong added.

Woodbury, assuming his first term as district attorney, called being sworn in a great honor and also referred to the seats filled with people, saying he had seen in the audience many for whom he has respect.

The chief justice apologized for his tardiness as he entered just after Woodbury became the third local official sworn in by Russell. The local officials ceremony was put on hold as he delivered brief remarks and took on the chore he had come to handle.

He thanked the district judges, praised their work and thanked them for their help in getting the state constitutional amendment approved by voters to set up a state Court of Appeals. He then administered the oath to Russell and Wilson even though they had technically been sworn in earlier to deal with the possible hitch that did wind up developing.


Paul McGrath, former Carson City sheriff, wants action on use of road funds after next year’s Board of Supervisors begins work or he will consider a petition drive

gas taxPaul McGrath, former Carson City sheriff, wants action on use of road funds after next year’s Board of Supervisors begins work or he will consider a petition drive.

McGrath, the sheriff from 1987 until 1995 who later served 15 years as executive director of the Western State Sheriffs Association, said city government doesn’t use a nickel in gasoline tax authorized for the freeway or related local street expenditures as originally intended. He said the improper use, as he views it, has gone on for a decade.

“It’s not to embarrass the city,” he said of his petition idea and a running battle with Transportation Manager Patrick Pittenger over use of the funds. “It’s just to get something done.”

McGrath said he has talked with Supervisors Jim Shirk and Karen Abowd, as well as Supervisor-elect Lori Bagwell, in his bid to alter where the funds are used so streets badly needing maintenance get fixed. He didn’t divulge how long he would wait for board action before seeking a petition remedy. He did say he has consulted with an attorney about it but has yet to retain one.

“I want them to fix what they’re supposed to fix,” he said, noting from his perspective the money is intended for the freeway or for arterials leading from it or nearby neighborhood streets.

His contention is that if city government was going to broaden the use to all city streets or roadways rather than those closer to the freeway, local government should have sought a vote of the people.

Pittenger, for his part, says road maintenance money is short because of various matters that have lowered overall gas tax take, and that a city ordinance from a decade ago provides proper authority for use of the nickel.

The ordinance language says it may “be used for the design and construction of the Carson City Freeway, or any arterial, collector, roadway or alternative route related to the movement of traffic through Carson City.”

Whenever conditions of local streets is discussed and Pittenger comments, he remarks that gasoline taxes haven’t been boosted in years and no longer generate sufficient income. He did so just last Thursday at a governing board meeting with this comment: “There is a structural shortfall in the amount of funds available.”

Mayor Robert Crowell on Monday said he’s aware of McGrath’s contention and isn’t opposed to a board discussion on the issue at some point, but added it should come through the Regional Transportation Commission. McGrath has been to the commission (RTC), but that body’s makeup will change next year because Bagwell defeated Supervisor John McKenna in November. McKenna is the board’s representative on RTC, so makeup there must change as well

“I don’t think there’s any difficulty with discussion of how the funds should be expended,” said the mayor, though he was clear regarding his caveat about having another round at the RTC level first.

Today’s Board of Supervisors meeting highlighted an issue discussed previously in Carson City Politics concerning the inability of City Staff to coherently present issues brought before the Board.


carson politicsToday’s Board of Supervisors meeting highlighted an issue discussed previously in Carson City Politics concerning the inability of City Staff to coherently present issues brought before the Board.

Today’s hot mess was served up by Marena Works who has repeatedly provided piecemeal “briefings” to the Board on the NV150 Fair which lacked structure and detail. In what should have been an opportunity to highlight the pros and cons of the fair while making a (successful) pitch for next year’s event, devolved instead in to Works gushing forth on some topics and not having answers for others.

carson city corruption

At this level of management, the Board should expect professional staff work and the responsibility for this falls directly to City Manager Nick Marano. Marano has accommodated sloppy staff work on a myriad of topics for too long and consistently set the bar too low for Staff appearing before the Board.  “Business casual” is a fashion style not a management technique.

Read more here:

Without Board of Supervisors knowledge, Carson City DA pays Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger to defend against lawsuits filed by Ty Robben

The Carson City DA who also over sees the city’s civil legal matters hired Reno based Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger see without the approval of the Carson City board of supervisors.

In the past, an agenda item was placed on the BOS agenda and voted on. See minutes from 2001 where money was approved by the BOS for Thorndal here:

FBI protest carson city courts fbi protest reno

law-firm-thorndal-armstrong-delk-balkenbush-eisinger-a-professional-corporation-photo-1068674Carson City Taxpayers are now on the hook for possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees as the fat lawyers at Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger suck off the pubic tit for more money.

Carson City District Attorney Neil Rombardo and Assistant DA Mark Krueger have circumvented the rules and laws to hire Reno law firm Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger to defend against civil lawsuits filed by Ty Robben. corruption

Normally, the DA who also handles civil matters for Carson City as well as criminal matters, would have to get approval from the Carson City Board of Supervisors. In this case, the DA office completely bypassed the approval and expenditure of public money.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors includes: Mayor Robert Crowell, Ward 1 Karen Abowd, Ward 2 Brad Bonkowski, Ward 3 John McKenna, Ward 4 Jim Shirk

See the related story:

On Your Side: City of Reno spends thousands on legal fees without council approval

11-kill the lawyers

John L. Thorndal
James G. Armstrong
Craig R. Delk
Paul F. Eisinger
Brian K. Terry
James J. Jackson
Philip Goodhart
Deborah L. Elsasser
Christopher J. Curtis
Kevin R. Diamond
Michael P. Lowry
Senior Associate
Kenneth R. Lund
Senior Associate
John D. Hooks
Senior Associate
Meghan M. Goodwin
Gregory M. Schulman
Of Counsel
Meredith L. Holmes
Stephen C. Balkenbush
Charles L. Burcham
Brent T. Kolvet
Robert F. Balkenbush
Katherine F. Parks
Brian M. Brown
Thierry V. Barkley
Of Counsel
Brandon R. Price
Kevin A. Pick

CARSON CITY CORRUPTION: A father/son team took on city government full tilt Thursday, telling the Board of Supervisors to stop monopolistic contracts and rein in spending for city staff

carson city corruption

A father/son team took on city government full tilt Thursday, telling the Board of Supervisors to stop monopolistic contracts and rein in spending for city staff.

That action starts at  4:50

A father/son team took on city government full tilt

Carson City Mayor    Karen Abowd   Supervisor Ward 2   Supervisor, Ward 3   Supervisor, Ward 4
Robert Crowell
 Ward 1
Karen Abowd
 Ward 2
Brad Bonkowski
 Ward 3
John McKenna

Ward 4
Jim Shirk


josh groth

Jim Groth descend the escalator to the ground floor of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Jim and Josh Groth, respectively the father and his grown son, appeared back-to-back during the board’s open comment period to chide city officials for actions viewed as anti-competitive, inadvisable in tough economic times and a problem when viewed from the private sector.

“This is not sustainable,” said the younger Groth. He said that after citing data indicating that last year Carson City paid more than $56 million in payroll and more than 200 city …


  1. 1.
    dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.
    “the journalist who wants to expose corruption in high places”
    synonyms: dishonesty, unscrupulousness, double-dealingfraud, fraudulence,misconductcrime, criminality, wrongdoingMore

the process by which something, typically a word or expression, is changed from its original use or meaning to one that is regarded as erroneous or debased.
synonyms: alteration, bastardization, debasement, adulteration More

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BLOOD MONEY – Carson City Supervisors to vote on $41,500 settlement with euthanized dog’s owner

carson city dog kill

The owner of a dog euthanized by Carson City Animal Services against her wishes will receive $41,500 in a settlement if she signs a waiver of claims and the Board of Supervisors approves the pact Thursday.

The shih tzu, Rollie, was put down July 30 after being turned over to Animal Services five days earlier. A new code section governing animal care at the pound says Animal Services should board such animals for 10 days at the owner’s expense.

Owner Jeraldine Archuleta tried to recover the unlicensed dog July 26-27 but could not pay the fees due right away, according to the city. She asked for more time to pay.

According to the agenda for Thursday’s meeting, the new Animal Services code, adopted in May 2013, includes a provision for hardship cases.

carson city corruption

It states that if an owner can document hardship, fees for the dog’s recovery may be waived by approval of Animal Services’ manager or director.

The item that will go before the city’s governing board requests authorization for payment of the $41,500 upon Archuleta’s “execution of a written settlement, waiver of claims and hold harmless …”

It also makes clear the payment would amount to a full settlement of all existing and any potential future claims and causes of action or damages against the city, as well as its current or former employees.

Archuleta made her case about the dog’s euthanasia public via a letter to the editor in the Nevada Appeal, prompting city government to close the Animal Services pound for three days for the stated reason of training personnel.

The city subsequently parted company with Animal Services manager Gail Radtke and has hired an interim manager. Radtke has sued the city, claiming she was unfairly let go.

The euthanasia controversy developed at the same time as an effort by a separate, private-sector group called the Carson Animal Services Initiative to raise money to help the city build a new shelter for dogs and other stray animals.

Archuleta’s lawyer, Cal Dunlap, declined to comment Thursday. He said he’d do so after the city and Archuleta have reached an agreement. Continue reading