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Walker will not face penalty for ethics violation

City Councilman Cam Walker will not face a penalty from the Nevada Ethics Commission after former Police Chief Thomas Finn filed a complaint against him last year.

The commission concluded that Walker did not intentionally vote for his own financial gain in its stipulation agreement, which was accepted May 19 and released this week. The agreement, approved by the commission and Walker, stated that there was an ethics violation but it was not willful and therefore not subject to a penalty.

In June 2012, Walker voted on a contractual amendment for the billion-dollar Korea Midland Power Co. solar facility to be built on leased city property. At the time, Walker was McCarthy Building Cos.’ business development director. McCarthy was a proposed contractor for Midland.

In April 2013, Finn sought an opinion from the Ethics Commission on Walker. Finn alleged that Walker violated five sections of the state’s ethics in government law. One allegation was that Walker used his council position to grant unwarranted privileges for himself or a business entity in which he had a financial interest.

Walker voted on the item after City Attorney Dave Olsen advised him that it would not be improper as long as he disclosed his relationship with McCarthy.

“There’s no question I disclosed (that information),” Walker said in April. “I don’t think I would’ve done anything differently. I was always taught if you don’t follow advice of counsel, then you’re personally liable.”

In April, Ethics Executive Director Caren Cafferata-Jenkins said Walker’s counsel and the commission had agreed on a stipulation that acknowledged Walker was facing a penalty.

The stipulation was reviewed by the commission, which decided that Walker did not vote on the item to willingly gain a financial interest.

“After everything that was written that my vote was for personal gain, it couldn’t have been further from the truth,” Walker said. “It’s nice that it’s over, and I thought the commission wrote very clear words.”

In the 17-page agreement, the commission said neither Walker nor McCarthy received any financial gain from his vote, and agreed that Walker did not intend to violate any ethics law.

The commission concluded that it was a good-faith effort by Walker to fulfill his obligation and duty to further his service to the citizens of Boulder City as their elected representative on the City Council.

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