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Inside the Scandal: How Assemblywoman Gorelow Dodged Ethics Charges on Shady Deal

(Chuck Muth) – On Thursday I received a copy of a decision by the Nevada Commission on Ethics related to the complaint I filed against Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow (D-Clark), advising that the complaint had been “dismissed.”

Ah, but there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

At issue was the fact that Gorelow voted to give $250,000 of taxpayer money to a non-profit organization, Arc of Nevada, which ended up hiring her just a couple weeks after her vote at the end of the 2023 session.

A refresher on the facts leading up to the decision…

On August 25, 2023, Taylor Avery of the Las Vegas Review-Journal broke the story on the scandal.  She noted…

  • That ARC had never before received tax dollars from the Legislature
  • That the organization only had two employees, including Gorelow
  • That the Better Nevada PAC had submitted a public records request seeking “communications between Gorelow and individuals on Arc’s board of directors”
  • That the request was denied “because the legislative branch is exempt from the state’s public records law”
  • That state law “bars a public employee from being employed by certain entities for a year after they leave public service, but different standards apply to legislators

How convenient (and unsurprising) that the Legislature would hold itself to different standards from you and I (yes, Sister Nancy Mary, I know that grammatically it should be “you and me”).

On August 31, 2023, I filed an official complaint with the Ethics Commission.  Ms. Avery reported on the complaint the same day…

“On the complaint form filed with the ethics commission, Muth indicated that Gorelow had violated several provisions of the law, including using her position to secure privileges or advantages and accepting compensation from a private entity for duties performed in her role as a public officer.”

The very next day, Gorelow announced that she wouldn’t be running for re-election this year, leaving the competitive seat without an incumbent candidate – increasing the chances for Republicans to flip it.

On October 31, 2023, the Commission requested that I sit for an interview about the complaint.

On November 22, 2023, I was interviewed via a Zoom call by the Commission’s investigator.  I was informed the Commission thought there might just be something rotten in Denmark that could result in action.

In other words, the complaint was anything but frivolous or they would have rejected it out of hand.

Last Thursday, Jon Ralston’s liberal “fake news” blog reported (nope, not gonna link) that the Commission had found “no evidence of wrongdoing.”

Gorelow herself issued a statement declaring that “Despite the rhetoric coming from hyper partisan Republicans, the ethics complaint filed against me was always without merit.”

Her attorney, Brad Schrager, issued a statement that “the result was what we always knew to be true: Assemblywoman Gorelow did nothing wrong and her reputation is vindicated.”

None of which is true.

Clearly the issue had merit, or the Commission wouldn’t have pursued it and interviewed me.

And if Gorelow and her legal beagle “always knew” that she had done “nothing wrong,” then why did she quit the Legislature?

The idea that there was “no evidence of wrongdoing” and that Gorelow had been “vindicated” isn’t true either – at least not if you read the actual decision.

The Commission noted that “The Supreme Court of Nevada has determined that there are limits on the Commission’s constitutional ability to investigate legislator behavior” based on a 15-year-old decision related to then-Sen. Warren Hardy.

Hardy’s argument was that the Commission, as part of the Executive Branch, had no authority to investigate legislators due to the separation of powers doctrine.

The Commission’s decision regarding the Gorelow complaint further notes that in 2009, while the Hardy case was being litigated, legislators passed a law “clarifying statutes establishing statutory Legislative immunity.”

In other words, legislators passed a law declaring that the Ethics Commission had no authority to investigate ethically suspicious behavior of…legislators.  How convenient.

In its decision dismissing my complaint, the Commission noted that in light of the Hardy decision and the new law granting legislative immunity, “there was insufficient evidence to proceed.”

NOT insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.  Insufficient evidence to take action.

The Commission’s decision specifically stated that the Commission “was precluded by (the Hardy decision) and by (the new 2009 law) from investigating or otherwise taking action in relation to Subject’s vote to fund her then-future employer.”

Indeed, the decision specifically declares that “the facts do not establish credible evidence to support a determination that just and sufficient cause exists for the Commission to render an opinion.”

Again, NOT that the complaint was “without merit.”  NOT that there was “no evidence of wrongdoing.”  NOT that Gorelow had been “vindicated.” And certainly NOT that Gorelow’s actions didn’t stink like yesterday’s diapers.

Only that the Commission lacked the authority to take any action on the complaint.

So don’t blame the Commission on this one.  Its hands were tied.  And as I concluded in my original complaint…

“If Ms. Gorelow’s actions are not a violation of the state’s ethics law, they should be.”

But don’t hold your breath waiting for the Legislature to pass an ethics law that applies to themselves the same way it applies to the rest of us peons. These people are absolutely shameless.

Bottom line: Decision or not, the complaint resulted in Gorelow being forced out of office thanks to the “Court of Public Opinion.”  As Ronald Reagan so eloquently put it, “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Ralston.


“Jon Ralston is known for stirring the pot, so to speak, and he is quite frequently wrong. He has no clue…” – Democrat Nevada Attorney General A.Ron Ford, Nevada Week, 8/2/23

“I don’t understand much about politics…” – Liberal blubber-blogger Jon Ralston, 1/2/20

Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of  You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at  His views are his own.


This blog/website is written and paid for by…me, Chuck Muth, a United States citizen. I publish my opinions under the rights afforded me by the Creator and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as adopted by our Founding Fathers on September 17, 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania without registering with any government agency or filling out any freaking reports. And anyone who doesn’t like it can take it up with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and John Adams the next time you run into each other.

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