Monday, Aug. 11, 2008 | 5:06 p.m.
State Board of Education member Greg Nyberg Nance resigned this afternoon, following a bizarre display of behavior at a public meeting over the weekend.
That saves Keith Rheault, Nevada's superintendent of public instruction, from having to find a way to hold Nance accountable. Rheault said he spent several hours this morning looking through state statute to figure out what action, if any, could be taken against Nance.
"Now I don't have to waste my time," Rheault said.
The preliminary search didn't turn up much, other than the possibility of a rebuke by the Nevada Commission on Ethics for a lack of decorum.
The State Board met in Carson City on Friday and Saturday. Nance, along with member Cindy Reid, participated via video-conferencing from the Nevada Education Department’s Las Vegas office.
Nance upset several of his elected colleagues when he insisted his new wife sit next to him at the board table, and focused his attention on her, rather than the policy discussion at hand. The giggling and kissing was embarrassing and distracting, said one observer. Nance also appeared to fall asleep during the meeting.
Ed Irvin, the deputy attorney general assigned to the State Board, urged Nance to behave more appropriately. Nance’s response to Irvin: “Bite me.”
That was enough for Anthony Ruggiero, acting president of the board, to urge members of the public to write letters of complaint.
Nance's behavior was "deplorable and appalling," said Ruggiero. He said he was glad Nance had opted for a dignified resignation, rather than allow the fallout from the weekend incident to turn into a "huge distraction" for the board.
Rheault said Gov. Jim Gibbons would likely appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of Nance’s term, which runs through 2010.
Nance was elected in 2006 to the District 5 seat. The 10-member board sets policy for the state’s 17 districts and oversees charter schools.
The return address on the resignation letter is a North Las Vegas rehabilitation center. Nance told people he suffered a heart attack last year.
Due to his “ongoing health problems and recent marriage,” Nance wrote, “I am unable to contribute to the extent I feel is important for the position of a member of the State Board of Education.”